1. For prospective new members, a word of warning: don't use common names like Dennis, Simon, or Kenny if you decide to create an account. Spammers have used them all before you and gotten those names flagged in the anti-spam databases. Your account registration will be rejected because of it.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Since it has happened MULTIPLE times now, I want to be very clear about this. You do not get to abandon an account and create a new one. You do not get to pass an account to someone else and create a new one. If you do so anyway, you will be banned for creating sockpuppets.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. If you wish to change your username, please ask via conversation to tehelgee instead of asking via my profile. I'd like to not clutter it up with such requests.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Due to the actions of particularly persistent spammers and trolls, we will be banning disposable email addresses from today onward.
    Dismiss Notice
  5. Welcome back to QQ. The search function will be unavailable for some hours until the index has been rebuilt.
    Dismiss Notice

Thousand Hands (Naruto)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by AoMythology, Sep 6, 2020.

Loading...
  1. Threadmarks: Story1
    AoMythology

    AoMythology Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2018
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    319
    Somewhere I Belong, AKA Thousand Hands (Naruto AU)

    Naruto teams up with (Fem-)Sasuke, known as Uchiha Biwako. This story won't have pairings until the involved characters are well into their teens. Even if they share a bed, it's innocent (they're eight!)

    Inspired by Ginjaa Ninjaa’s ‘History repeats itself’, with his blessing (he's on FFnet). This is also my second try at a Mokuton (Wood Style) Naruto story. Yeah, Mokuton Naruto is a cliche blah blah, yadda yadda. I know.

    First two chapters beta-ed by Ginjaa Ninjaa.

    Naruto was born to his canon parents, but one of them is descended from Hashirama; you'll see how later.

    -----

    Two children by a lake; a moment of understanding. Such a thing can change the world.

    -----

    Naruto made eye contact with his classmate, the one he thought was named Biwako. In her eyes, he could see the same pain he felt all the time, loneliness. Before he could think, his lips moved and he said, “wanna spar?”

    It was too late for take-backs. Biwako looked at him with her completely black eyes for a moment, then nodded. Naruto followed the girl to a training ground, and the two of them stood still for a minute, sizing up one another.

    “So how do we do this? I’m Uzumaki Naruto by the way,” Naruto said, starting to jump in place.

    Biwako didn’t speak for a moment, but she simply said, “Uchiha Biwako. Taijutsu only.”

    Naruto nodded and got into a stance. He had been looking at (ob-serv-ing? That’s what Iruka called it) the other Academy students in taijutsu practice for a while to copy them, and with some help from Iruka, had gotten somewhat good. Fortunately, the man had also helped him learn how to read and write, because the caretakers had been too afraid of Naruto to get close enough to him to teach him.

    (“What’s the problem, Naruto?” Iruka said, making Naruto jump in place.

    The boy had stayed in the classroom to try and study during lunchtime, but….

    “It’s too hard, Iruka-sensei! I don’t get it! All those kanji, and- and-,” Naruto said, ready to cry.

    “Wait,” Iruka said, realizing the problem immediately, “didn’t they teach you how to read at the orphanage?”

    Naruto, expecting his sensei to mock him, lifted his head slowly. He said, “they didn’t.”

    Iruka looked furious after hearing that, but he didn’t mock Naruto. He took the time to teach Naruto how to read, and even called him a very fast learner. It took Naruto two to three months to be called ‘adequate’ by Iruka and another to be ‘above average’ at reading.

    Another half year later, Naruto’s scores ended up slightly higher than the class’s highest scoring student, though he had already forgotten the girl’s name. The (academia only) scores were as follows:
    Naruto: History: 100/100, Biology-anatomy: 100/100, Math: 97/100, Sciences: 99/100, Tactics: 92/100, Traps: 90/100, Ninjutsu theory: 100/100
    Unknown girl: History: 100/100, Biology-anatomy: 90/100, Math: 95/100, Sciences: 93/100, Tactics: 99/100, Traps: 100/100, Ninjutsu theory: 100/100
    )

    He now remembered that Biwako was the girl who always got the highest overall scores. He also remembered her taking her loss calmly -she had pouted for a bit-, unlike Sakura.

    (“Sensei, this can’t be right,” the pink-haired girl he couldn’t remember the name of said, “why did you score my test lower than that bum’s?”

    Naruto froze in place and looked at Iruka, only to see his sensei’s face was still smiling, but it was scaring him for some reason.

    “Sakura,” the man said gently, “Naruto earned his marks. You keep putting others down when they show better performance than you instead of improving yourself – this is not an attitude worthy of a competent ninja.”

    The girl looked at Iruka, then at Naruto, then ran outside, crying. Fake tears? Either way, Naruto didn’t remember anyone else defending him like that except maybe for Motoko-san, and she had stopped, probably because Naruto couldn’t stand her.)

    When Sakura’s parents had come to complain and threatened to pull her out of the Academy, Iruka hadn’t backed off. He had supposedly had some choice words for their and Sakura’s attitude.

    Naruto didn’t know what the man had said then, but Sakura had become more serious in the practical subjects, and Iruka would help her get better, just like he did for Naruto.

    (“Your stance is all over the place, Naruto,” Iruka said, looking the boy over carefully, “where did you learn it?”

    Naruto said, “I’ve been watching the others and copying them. Is it that bad?” Rubbing the back of his head. He had also been fighting off bullies for a long time in the orphanage, but that was another story.

    Iruka rubbed the back of his head too and said, “well, it’s good for a beginner. The very good thing is that it shows you can learn quickly.”

    Then, the older male corrected Naruto’s form. It took many hours of trying again and again before Naruto was tired.

    After that, Iruka treated Naruto to Ramen at the Ichiraku stand. The blond boy was busy slurping up the noodles in his bowl, when Iruka cleared his throat.

    The man said, “hey, Naruto.”

    Naruto said, “whak is ick Irukka-sensei?” Still eating.

    “Chew first and swallow, then speak, Naruto,” Iruka said, scolding him gently.

    “Sor- sorry, Iruka-sensei,” Naruto said, leaving the poor bowl of ramen alone for now. “What is it?” He said then.

    “How would you feel if Sakura were to join our training sessions?” Iruka said.

    “What! But Iruka-sensei, Sakura is- is-” Naruto said, lost for words, mostly because any word he could think of at the moment would make Iruka scold him.

    “She’s a fellow classmate who wants to improve. Don’t forget that you’re not my only student, Naruto,” Iruka said, smiling gently at him.

    That smile made Naruto not want to disappoint him. The boy said, “yeah, I guess, sensei,” sulking a bit.

    Iruka ruffled his hair and said, “oh, don’t be like that, Naruto. You might even like Sakura if you get to know her better.”

    Yeah, right,” Naruto murmured, still not over how Sakura tended to treat him.

    “Just give it a chance, all right, Naruto?” Iruka said, almost pleading, and Naruto just couldn’t say no.

    “Okay sensei,” Naruto said, not sulking anymore, “I’ll try.”

    “That’s all I ask,” Iruka said and ruffled Naruto’s spiky hair again.)

    Either way, Naruto had a spar to begin. He saw that Biwako had been waiting for him without complaining, and that made him respect her a little more. The two of them had never sparred in the past; boys and girls fought separately in the early Academy, so they had never done what they were going to that day.

    Naruto put up the seal of confrontation, and Biwako reluctantly did the same thing. They tensed, and the second a bird passed just over a pond, the two of them moved towards each other. Naruto noticed that Biwako moved much faster than he could, but he shrugged off the knowledge and concentrated on the fight. Biwako kicked him in the gut, making his breath catch.

    Then, Biwako tried to kick Naruto in the chin, but he stepped to the side quickly, making her mostly miss, barely grazing him. So, his pain tol- tol- whatever, saved him from that follow-up.

    Naruto elbowed her in the kicking leg immediately, hopefully slowing her down. He had learned his lesson of holding back with girls after the Ami and Maifa incident.

    Biwako backed off quickly, hobbling; she also seemed more surprised than hurt. She said, “your reflexes are as quick as mine,” sounding surprised.

    This time, Naruto was the one who didn’t speak much – in fact, he didn’t speak at all, he simply shrugged. He tried to keep the fact that he was a bit out of breath quiet. The two of them, on another unspoken signal, clashed again; this time, Biwako’s much greater flexibility and clan training won out, and she pinned Naruto down.

    Unfortunately for her, she hadn’t perfected the hold. And Naruto was much, much stronger than he looked, so he got out, though he was visibly out of breath after that e-xe-rtion.

    Naruto looked at his opponent and decided to put his experience to use. After all, Biwako had to fight against girls who were more worried about getting a boyfriend -usually their arrogant prick of a senpai, Hyuuga Neji-, with Mito (ugh) her only challenge. Sakura was strong too, but she usually held back against Biwako for some reason. On the other hand, Naruto had had to outmaneuver Kiba in the past, outsmart Shino and block Chouji’s powerful blows.

    …Not to forget showing patience to that lazy shit, Shikamaru. Seriously, his new habit of giving up every time he was supposed to face Naruto really annoyed him.

    Mizuki, the assistant teacher, had had it out for him for a while; that was why Naruto usually had to fight the strongest students, but Mizuki regretted it when Naruto ended up stronger than them in barely more than a year. He could trick Shino and avoid Shino’s own tricks most of the time; move almost as fast as Kiba, with more a-gi-li-ty; and beat Chouji in a straight contest of strength, though he played to their weaknesses when he could.

    He ran at Biwako, but not straight on, then used his incredible a-gi-li-ty to turn on a Ryo and attack her from behind. He punched her as she was turning, too stunned to react immediately, and got her in the cheek with incredible power, making her actually bleed and throwing her away from him.

    Biwako got up shakily and wiped her injured cheek of blood. Naruto blurted out an “are you all right, Biwako?” But the girl ignored him.

    She glared, full of hatred; at first, that worried him, but Naruto soon realized that she was seeing someone else in his place – he knew what being hated was like, so he knew that she was looking through him, and not to ignore him. She hated someone else with all her heart.

    Biwako let out a cry filled with rage and attacked him again; this time, she wasn’t as smart in her fighting, so Naruto still had a chance. On the other hand, his stamina was running out, and Biwako was still going strong; he now knew that she had higher reserves, but fortunately, that didn’t ne-ce-ssa-ri-ly mean she could last longer.

    Their last exchange ended with Naruto being kicked in the chest with incredible strength; he absently noted that this time, she had used her left foot. ‘Either she was holding back before, or her left is much stronger,’ he thought while flying through the air, coughing out saliva, hopefully without blood.

    This time, she looked a bit worried, but when he got up, injuries no longer a problem, she said, “what are you made of?” Looking at him with a mixture of shock and… excitement?

    Naruto dusted himself off, ignoring his worry that she would call him a freak in favor of focusing. He said, “I’ve always healed quickly. Now, let’s go!”

    Thanks to Naruto having gotten his second wind, their next exchange ended up with Biwako getting a punch in the gut, then a kick in the chest when she bent down, being thrown away. She looked like a vengeful goddess then, eyes literally red, pain and fury twisting her features. It was all or nothing then. This last exchange would decide the fight.

    This time, Biwako went for a punch in the face. She avoided Naruto’s counter perfectly, with an ease that seemed to surprise even her, which made her punch be weaker than it should be. Still, Naruto was seriously tired and hurt already, so his headbutt in the chest was weaker than he had expected; much weaker. Still, the previous gut and chest hits must have done their job, because Biwako dropped - at the same time Naruto did, and their fists met on the way down.

    -----

    There are three known methods to increase one’s natural talent for an element; four, if one counts the awakening of an already existent elemental Bloodline. One is through (usually illegal) experimentation, such as injecting oneself with an elemental Bloodline one does not possess the potential for. The second one is sealing a Bijuu with an elemental affinity or bloodline within oneself, though the compatibility with that Bijuu is lower when the affinities are different.

    The other is when, in a process little is understood about, two people connect with each other during pitched combat, even if they are enemies, or even a (very intense) spar, and happen to possess the correct combination of elements. Even fewer know that this is the product of Ninshu*.

    -----

    It took a few minutes for them to catch their breaths, but when they did, Naruto said, “that- was- incredible! I never knew you could fight like that! What’s up with the red eyes by the way?”

    “You said it,” Biwako said, “I wish I had healing and stamina regeneration like yours, though.”

    “Don’t sell yourself short,” Naruto said, “I could tell that your reserves of stamina are much higher than mine; without the second wind I got, I’d have lost much earlier.”

    “Right,” Biwako said, “wait, red eyes?”

    Then, she looked at the small lake and whooped in joy, saying ‘Sharingan’ repeatedly… and fell backwards, unconscious.

    Naruto caught her quickly, panicking. He said, “Biwako? Biwako! Come on – it’s not funny!”

    He checked her pulse, but it felt normal to him. He carried her, went up to one of the houses in the Uchiha district, trusting his gut; and, of course, it looked lived-in. He put her in a bed and went to her kitchen to make some tea. He had to decide if he would take her to the hospital, and it was a hard decision. He would immediately be blamed for any injuries she had, his fault or not.

    Still, he steeled himself. It probably was actually his fault; he also wouldn’t risk Biwako’s health. He felt calm after deciding that, but he heard something he didn’t expect: movement from Biwako’s room.

    He knocked at the door, saying, “Biwako! Are you awake?”

    Naruto couldn’t hear what exactly she muttered, but she soon stumbled out of said room, looking like a zombie, like in the manga he sometimes read in the orphanage.

    “Who’s- oh, it’s you,” Biwako said, slurring a bit.

    “What’s wrong? Are you sick?” Naruto asked, worried again. He didn’t dare tell her that she sounded and looked like a drunk.

    “What- no, it’s just Chakra exhaustion, but never mind that! How did you find my house?” Biwako said, a strange look on her face.

    “I’m not sure,” Naruto said, “I trusted my gut; the place felt more alive, somehow.”

    Biwako frowned a bit. She said, “that doesn’t make sense- wait. Are you a tracker, or maybe a sensor?”

    “What’s that?” Naruto asked, curious. He had heard the words before, but didn’t know what they meant.

    “Never mind- is that tea?” Biwako said.

    “Yeah. I’m sorry I took over your kitchen, but I couldn’t sit and do nothing. How do you drink your tea?” Naruto said.

    “I drink it with no sugar, and no cream or milk – I don’t like sweet things,” Biwako replied.

    Naruto couldn’t believe that. He said, “even fruits?” Before he could stop himself.

    “I can… tolerate fruits, especially non-sweet ones like tomatoes- okay, that’s a lie; I love tomatoes,” Biwako said, looking more alive.

    Naruto smiled. He said, “I like all fruits, including tomatoes. ‘Cept lemons. Useless little-. I like vegetables too. I wish I had a place to grow them.”

    “Why don’t you grow them here, in the Uchiha district?” Biwako offered.

    Naruto could see that she was surprised by her own words, but she didn’t take them back. He eventually said, “I think I’ll do that. Thanks.”

    Biwako went up to a mirror and simply looked at her own face.

    “What are you doing?” Naruto asked after a while, seeing that she was absorbed in her reflection.

    “Checking my eyes. Do you know what the Sharingan is?” Biwako said.

    “Eh, not really…? But if it takes Chakra, should you be using it right after Chakra exhaustion?” Naruto said, a bit worried.

    Biwako turned to him, her eyes once again red. Now that he was able to examine them, he could see a comma mark in each of them, at least until they turned black.

    “You’re right of course, what was I thinking?” Biwako said angrily, hopefully not angry at Naruto.

    “Is this ‘Sharingan’ a bloodline limit?” Naruto asked, curious.

    “Yes,” Biwako said, swaying in place again.

    Naruto quickly said, “you should go to the hospital for your Chakra exhaustion. You might have cuts and bruises too,” getting ready to catch her if she fell.

    “Hmph,” Biwako said, “only if you go too.”

    Naruto looked down and explained that the doctors and medic-nins in the hospital didn’t like him.

    “Will they refuse to treat you?” Biwako asked, her expression neutral.

    “Only if my problem isn’t very serious,” Naruto replied, “I also don’t want to make my re- reputation even worse, so please don’t tell anyone we sparred like that. If we go to the hospital at the same time, people might guess what happened.”

    Biwako nodded. She said “I’ll lie and say that I got an older student as a sparring partner. Is that enough?”

    “Yeah, thanks,” Naruto said, relieved.

    “For the time being, you can sleep on the couch,” Biwako said, strangely calmly.

    “Eh? Are you sure?” Naruto said, taken aback.

    Biwako nodded. She said, “unless you prefer the orphanage,” slyly.

    “Oh, gods no,” Naruto said, disgusted at the idea. While the new orphanage wasn’t anywhere near as hostile as the previous and rarely had kids disappear, it was still terrible… not to mention the lower amounts of food. It was a temporary arrangement and back to the orphanage, though. Right? Naruto smiled to himself bitterly.

    -----

    Biwako had just come back from the hospital. She had been given a pill for her Chakra exhaustion and prescribed a cream for her bruises. The doctor tried to question her on how she had gotten the injuries, but her cold attitude had helped her for the thousandth time.

    When she got back, she found Naruto on the couch, asleep. However, he was twisting around as if he were having a nightmare and sweating terribly.

    ‘That can’t be healthy in this weather,’ Biwako thought.

    So, she went to get a blanket. Unfortunately, as she was covering him, Naruto latched onto her in his sleep and wouldn’t let go.

    ‘I have to get away without waking him up,’ Biwako thought, ‘well, at least he’s not shaking anymore.’ After a few attempts, the girl resigned herself to her fate and tried to fall asleep.

    She didn’t realize she had until she woke up. Fortunately, she had just enough time when she woke up to stop hugging Naruto.

    -----

    “Ugh – where am I?” Naruto said, realizing something was off, only to meet a black-eyed glare from up close.

    “Did you sleep comfortably?” Biwako asked sweetly. Too sweetly.

    Naruto soon realized that he had his arms wrapped around something - or someone. Biwako…? Shit.

    Naruto unwrapped his arms from the girl and threw himself off the couch, hitting his head on something. Bright lights flashed in his sight.

    ‘Ouch. What happened?’ Naruto thought, blacking out for a second.

    -----

    “I said I’m sorry,” Naruto said, “what more do you want?”

    “Idiot,” Biwako said, brow twitching. She had slept better than she had since- well, for the past month, and didn’t mind all that much, but she wouldn’t let Naruto know or let him off the hook.

    Naruto sighed, but he didn’t say any more. Smart boy.

    The coming night, Naruto crashed on the couch again and Biwako ended up lying next to him again. (‘Don’t you dare tell anyone! Idiot!’)

    Soon enough, Biwako ended up telling Naruto to use her bed… and that was the story of how Naruto left the orphanage.

    -----

    The second spar Naruto and Biwako had was a week or so later. Biwako had been so sure of her victory thanks to her Sharingan that she lost easily. She learned not to underestimate Naruto, the hard way. And that was how the two of them became rivals, though not the hostile kind.

    She wanted her rival to be strong, which was why she taught him the basic E-rank Academy jutsu early, telling him that he should try to learn them so well that he could do them without hand-seals. The two of them didn’t have anything more advanced, other than Biwako’s Goukakyuu (Great Fireball), but they wanted to correct that.

    Biwako had been trying to find the Uchiha library for ages, but even now she had the Sharingan, it wasn’t so easy. She didn’t expect what Naruto suggested next instead of learning from scrolls.

    “Let’s spy on shinobi who are training,” Naruto said, smiling wide and with teeth, which was a rare thing.

    “What if they catch us?” Biwako said, not really against the idea.

    “Your Sharingan can see really far, right?” Naruto said, still grinning, “my hiding skills are great, too, so let’s spy on adult ninjas.”

    “I can’t copy jutsu very well yet,” Biwako said, annoyed at the fact that her Sharingan only had one tomoe (comma mark) in each eye.

    “I’ll do it,” Naruto said, “my memory is great - I can me-mo-rize the hand seals perfectly.”

    Biwako sighed. She said, “just be careful; don’t spy on Jounin, and don’t be your usual reckless self.”

    Naruto crouched down, and Biwako could swear she saw a dark cloud hovering above his head. He kept saying ‘Biwako thinks I’m reckless’, depressed, drawing circles on the floor.

    Biwako rolled her eyes upwards – Naruto was being an idiot again.

    -----

    Naruto learned, after a bit of careful spying on chuunin sparring in training grounds, how to use the Water Clone jutsu.

    To be exact, he saw it used once, and managed to use it right in less than an hour of trying it. The hand-seals were Dragon, Ram and Tiger.

    Biwako was looking at Naruto in disbelief. She said, “Naruto… have you had training in Water ninjutsu?”

    Naruto shook his head. He said, “no. I haven’t learned any of the elements at all.”

    Biwako said, “I think you might be a sensor – even with a Water affinity, it’s unlikely you would have learned an elemental ninjutsu with so few hand-seals without some training, unless you knew how the Chakra had to be used for that jutsu.”

    Naruto said, “you’ve talked about sensors before. What does that mean? Does it mean that I can feel Chakra somehow? We haven’t learned that in the Academy.”

    Biwako nodded and launched into a lecture on the subject, complete with a lecturing pose.

    “So, how do I use that skill?” Naruto asked.

    “Well… I don’t know,” Biwako said, blushing.

    “What do you mean you don’t know!” Naruto said, almost shouting.

    “Give me a break, Naruto – it’s not like I know everything. Even if I do know a lot more than you do,” Biwako said, smirking.

    Naruto sulked for a bit after hearing that, making Biwako- wait, had she just-

    “Biwako,” Naruto said slyly, “did you snort just now?”

    Biwako was blushing again. She said, “now you’re hearing things, too?”

    “Biwako-chaan,” Naruto said in a sing-song voice, “don’t be like that. You can’t fool me; I heard you loud and clear,” smirking.

    “Whatever. Idiot,” Biwako said, her expression once again unreadable.

    Naruto murmured that she sounded just like a tsundere.

    “What did you say!?” Biwako demanded, raising a fist.

    Yup, definitely a tsundere.

    “…What are you smiling at?” Biwako asked a few moments later.

    “It’s nothing,” Naruto said, still smiling wide.

    “So, Naruto – do you have a dream? Or maybe an ambition. I’m curious,” Biwako said a few seconds later, changing the subject, looking at Naruto without smiling; not that she ever did.

    Naruto stopped smiling and thought the question over. He then said, “I don’t know yet. I… guess that I want to be accepted by the village, or at least find another place that will accept me. I believe that becoming a legendary ninja will help me in that; I definitely can’t be accepted if I’m just a nobody. Besides, with the village so- unfriendly, it’s better if I am strong. What about you?”

    Biwako laughed without humor. She said, “I walked right into this one, didn’t I? I have this dream - no, it’s more an ambition: I will kill that man and avenge my family.”

    Naruto decided to keep to himself the fact that she didn’t sound all that assured of her chances against whoever she hated. He said, “who is ‘that man’?” Almost whispering.

    Biwako remained silent for a bit, seemingly thinking. Then, she said, “I might as well tell you. The man I hate with all my heart is the one who murdered the rest of my clan, who slaughtered them; my older brother, Uchiha Itachi.”

    Naruto didn’t know what to say to that. No, that was a lie – he definitely had something to say. He vowed, “I’ll help you get stronger to kill your target and fulfill your ambition. You’ll see, I’ll be the best rival you’ve ever had!”

    Biwako blinked, a hint of water in her eyes. She said, “oh Naruto,” and hugged him briefly, a rare thing, other than what she would do in her sleep.

    -----

    Biwako had found something when trying to discover the Uchiha jutsu library, with Naruto being there to help her against any traps her target had left.

    She tried a password passed down by her father, but it failed to open the passage or safe or whatever it was. Grimacing, she wrote ‘foolish little sister, maybe next time’, then made a poking motion. That led to the revelation of a relatively small space, which had a large scroll inside, barely able to fit while folded up.

    Biwako asked Naruto to check it for traps with a Water Clone. The clone unfolded the scroll, which had the kanji for Hawk, ‘Taka’, on it.

    Fears forgotten, Biwako looked at the scroll in awe; few people got the chance to sign a summoning contract. But then, her blood ran cold: what if That Man had signed it first?

    She checked, but none of the names belonged to him. The fact that Shisui had signed it last gave the girl hope.

    “Well? Aren’t you going to sign it?” A voice said.

    Biwako lifted her head to see the original Naruto smiling at her.

    “I’m not completely sure,” she said, breathing slowly, “this is a life-changing decision.”

    Naruto shook his head. He said, “summoning contracts don’t grow on trees dattebayo.”

    “I know that!” Biwako said, snapping at him. Then, she said, “sorry. Just… let me think for a moment,” sheepishly.

    Naruto’s expression softened, and he nodded.

    Biwako thought of the cats – but cats didn’t fly. Some other members of the Uchiha had had summoning contracts of their own, but most of those had been taken by the village or were still in the home of the summons.

    She made her decision.

    -----

    Naruto and Biwako started using ninjutsu in their spars, but they were still roughly equal; Naruto’s Water Clones would take a lot of Chakra to dispel with the Great Fireball, and gave him enough of an advantage to negate Biwako’s experience in ninjutsu.

    Not to mention it created mist, and Naruto had the better hearing and stealth, so Biwako had to dispel them up close. Biwako’s sense of smell was amazing, but it didn’t help as much without special training. In the meanwhile, Naruto took Biwako’s advice to heart and practiced the E-ranks, mainly the Kawarimi no jutsu, so that he could do them faster and reduce the hand-seal number.

    Biwako had kept training her hand-seal speed. She wasn’t as good as Naruto at reducing the number of hand-seals needed, apparently, so she had to be fast. Fortunately for her, her ma-nu-al dex-te-ri-ty was much higher than his. That morning, though, they had to go to the Academy, so they cut their training in hand-seals short.

    -----

    Mito had sat close to Naruto and Biwako that day, much to Naruto’s annoyance. Mito was the village’s darling; the ‘Honorable Daughter’ of the Fourth. Naruto found the easy way the people of Konoha accepted her unfair.

    “So, what have you two been learning? Pervy Sage is back in the village, and teaching me how to use the Wind element!” Mito said, enthusiastically, her bright blue eyes shining.

    “Fire,” Biwako said, speaking the usual way she did in the Academy.

    “Ah, okay,” Mito said, “what about you, Naruto?”

    Naruto simply shrugged, both disliking the girl and not wanting to give away his abilities.

    “Mou! Can’t the two of you be more talkative?” Mito said, pouting. “Like Kiba- never mind, bad example,” she said.

    Naruto rolled his eyes, and Mito pounced. She said, “so you do have a sense of humor, Naruto. I had begun to wonder dattebara.”

    Naruto couldn’t help grinning. Maybe Mito wasn’t that bad, after all. Now that I think of it, she’s never liked being called ‘Honorable Daughter’. Maybe, just maybe-

    “You usually look so constipated. You’re worse than Biwako, I think,” Mito said innocently.

    Naruto took it back – she was as troublesome as Shikamaru would say. Biwako and Naruto turned twin glares upon Mito, who laughed nervously and rubbed the back of her head, chin-length strawberry blond hair moving around in sync.

    Naruto still wanted to show up that pampered princess, even if she wasn’t that bad after all – he would show those idiot villagers that he was better than her. So, he decided to learn the Wind element and surpass Namikaze Mito in it.

    -----

    Naruto was checking on his plants in Biwako’s garden. Biwako was the only one who knew, but he had a habit of talking to plants. He had read in a book that that helped them grow, but in truth, he had done that even before. Had he somehow known that it helped them grow in-stinct-ive-ly, or was it just a habit he had gotten because he had been lonely? “Aargh, this in-tro-spe-ction thing is hard!” Naruto said out loud, tugging on his short blond hair in frustration.

    He eventually noticed that two of his tomato plants had been uprooted, most likely by a dog or something like that. ‘How’d I miss that?’ Naruto thought, angry at himself - the ground around them was very messed up. He took one of them and put it in the ground again, but stopped himself before he did the same with the other. He knew it was too late for those plants – it was foolish to try to get them back… like it was foolish to have believed that Asuna-san would be able to come back from-

    Naruto wiped his eyes with his shirt, near the shoulder, because his hands and sleeves were dirty. No. No! He wouldn’t cry any more, and he wouldn’t give up! He was Uzumaki Naruto, damn it!

    Without bothering to think about it, Naruto put a little Chakra into the tomato plant he had replanted. He made a bit of a mistake, though: he used his Chakra in a strange way. Part of the Chakra that went into the plant reminded him of the Water Clone, another part reminded him of freshly tilled soil, and something felt strange about the Chakra in another way, too.

    -----

    Life is transient, and yet, some people are immortalized through their actions; through the light their very soul emits. That was the main principle of Ninshu: to reach understanding by linking their souls and their Spiritual energy -also known as Yin Chakra-, with Yang Chakra -Physical energy- as the medium.

    What is even less-known is that Indra was not the only one to modify the process, though he was the only one to do so on purpose. Of all people, a direct descendant and reincarnate of the younger brother, Ashura, was responsible for that. His name was Senju Hashirama.

    As a very young boy, Hashirama was secretly injected with White Zetsu cells by the nameless being some call Black Zetsu, in a gambit to trick an Uchiha into combining Ashura’s powers with Indra’s.

    The operation succeeded beyond Black Zetsu’s wildest dreams, in every way. Far beyond. New, insanely powerful abilities emerged in Hashirama -and old ones were made beyond powerful-, such as his Chakra and flesh regenerating at a rate even his wife, a Jinchuuriki of the Kyuubi, was envious of.

    Hashirama unknowingly tapped into something resembling Ninshu for the first time while taking care of a plant as a child, and went on to make a supreme form of Zetsu’s Mokuton, combining Ashura’s powerful Chakra and natural talent for Senjutsu with Zetsu’s Water and Earth element, Hashirama’s own talent for elemental ninjutsu, and -of course- what remained in Zetsu of that tree’s essence.

    Many have theorized that Mokuton includes Yang Style, and is a Kekkei Touta rather than a Kekkei Genkai, among them Tsunade. The truth, though, is a bit more complicated: Mokuton includes Yin-Yang Style, being closer to Creation of All Things than anything else.

    Unlike Creation of All Things, which doesn’t use actual Chakra but ‘Stamina’ because it splits it into Yin and Yang; Mokuton gives form with Yin Chakra and uses Yang to give life… while still keeping Chakra in its balanced form. People could study Hashirama’s abilities for a lifetime and still have more to find. People DID study Mokuton for a lifetime and found very little, and not just because those who knew the most were very tight-lipped.

    What would it be like, if someone had the Mokuton at full strength, naturally? None of Hashirama’s direct descendants inherited his Bloodline Limit, because none of them had Ashura’s Chakra. Or did they?

    History has a tendency of repeating itself.

    -----

    Naruto couldn’t believe his eyes. The tomato plant he had thought dead was in perfect con-di-tion.

    ‘What did I just do…?’ Naruto thought, ‘were the other orphans and those caretakers -old Tsuruko and Setsuna-san-, right? Am I a freak?’ Panicking.

    He decided not to tell anyone about this.

    -----

    It was Naruto’s turn to do the shopping; mainly because Biwako was too tired that day. The usual for the two of them was for Naruto to always cook and take care of the garden and Biwako to always go shopping and clean.

    He went to the butcher’s, when his eyes met the owner’s. He saw the emotions play out on the man’s face; from a smile, to unpleasant surprise, to anger and hatred.

    “Out,” the man said, evenly.

    Naruto’s teeth and fists clenched. He saw that the man had an expression of fear and was about to pick up a knife, so he left the store before he did something he might or might not regret.

    Two women in the street gossiping started speaking about Naruto, and how ‘that thing shouldn’t be allowed to be a ninja’, so he glared at them, putting a bit of Killing Intent into the look, making the air heavy with his hatred. He could smell the piss running down the clothes of one of the women; he smirked at her with hate, making them both shudder.

    Naruto reached a park, going to a secluded corner to calm down, closing his eyes. ‘Damn it! Why do they hate me like that? I don’t get it,’ he thought, and took deep breaths to calm down, while leaning on a tree.

    While he meditated like that, he felt like the tree was reaching out for him, as if it had Chakra of its own. ‘My imagination is working like crazy today,’ Naruto thought, ignoring the little voice that reminded him of that tomato plant and told him he should at least tell Biwako.

    …The next day, Iruka scolded Naruto. The man said, “is it true, Naruto, that you hit a civilian?”

    “Huh? No, sensei, that never happened! I did make a woman piss herself by glaring at her, though, hehe,” Naruto said, smug, but hiding the fact that he could use Killing Intent thanks to Biwako.

    Iruka shook his head. He said, “that’s bad enough, too. I’m disappointed in you, Naruto. You gave people fuel to spread lies about you. Besides, how can you protect Konoha’s citizens if they’re scared of you?”

    Naruto looked down – he didn’t like disappointing his sensei. “Sorry sensei,” he said in a small voice, ignoring the very loud part of him that said he shouldn’t apologize and that he didn’t care about protecting Konoha’s citizens.

    “Hey, Naruto. Chin up,” Iruka said, “how about I come with you to apologize to that woman?” Smiling.

    “Hell no! Screw that bitch!” Naruto said loudly, startling even himself with how ve- ve-he-ment he was.

    Iruka looked shocked, then pained. He said, “Naruto-”

    “No!” Naruto said and bolted, hating the look he saw on his father figure’s face, but he couldn’t bring himself to apologize, even to Iruka.

    …That night, Naruto forgot all about Iruka, because he found out something else. “Wait, so you found the Uchiha shinobi library? Without taking me with you? It’s dangerous!” Naruto said to Biwako, worried.

    Biwako said, “don’t worry. I didn’t even try to get into it yet, but I’m pretty sure that’s it. Come on, follow me.”

    She grabbed his hand, took him to one of the buildings in the Uchiha district and switched on her Sharingan. She tapped the floor on three particular places and a stone tablet appeared. She ‘wrote’ some stuff with her finger, did some hand-seals and there it was: a secret passage opened. “What can you feel from there?” Biwako asked, her eyes focusing on the darkness below.

    Naruto molded some Chakra, but didn’t let it form into a jutsu, controlling it in a way that made it enter everything around him, but in a different form somehow. So, he used his sensory skill to make sure that, other than him and Biwako, there was nothing alive larger than a cockroach there.

    Biwako hesitantly walked down the stairs of the passage, did a few hand-seals to close the entrance -apparently, her need to keep the Uchiha jutsu library secret was stronger than her fear- and they were soon met by a huge room - or so it seemed to Naruto, but it was too dark to see any more.

    Suddenly, fire flashed, making Naruto jump. He immediately noticed Biwako with her hands in a Tiger seal, next to a lit torch attached to the wall. More torches were lit that were connected to that one, just like in those manga that had brave archaeologists and explorers find ancient tombs.

    “Incredible, isn’t it?” Biwako remarked, her barely visible eyes betraying her excitement.

    They both looked around; there were scrolls and books everywhere, and according to Biwako, the library had three more levels underground. The both of them explored those levels - the fourth and smallest level had things written by clan heads and just as important stuff, usually by the main families.

    “What’s this?” Biwako remarked, “Advanced usage of Katon, by Uchiha Madara and Izuna?”

    “Look, Biwako! The same guy, Madara. has a guide -no, many guides- for Fuuton, too! And a ‘how to’ on using fans like a Gunbai!” Naruto said, enthusiastic.

    “Inside voice, Naruto,” Biwako scolded, “didn’t you want to learn about Fuuton? You should put the basics book on the first level, somewhere we can get to it easily. I’ll do the same for the moderately advanced Katon books; no clan head has written anything about the basics of Katon- wait.”

    “What is it, Biwako?” Naruto asked.

    Biwako showed him the thick book -more like an encyclopedia tome in size- called ‘Raiton: the Full Guide of Going from Expert to Grandmaster, Part 2’.

    “What’s so great about- wait, Uchiha Mikoto? Wasn’t she your mother?” Naruto said.

    He had met Uchiha Mikoto before and other than Iruka -and the man who owned a particular Ramen stand, to a point-, she was the only adult who had ever wanted him around. Sometimes, he would see her look at him and get an angry, scary look on her face, but he would ignore those times – she had been very good to him otherwise.

    Nowadays, he understood some things better; so, he wondered what she had been angry at. He didn’t think it was Naruto himself.

    Biwako smiled, though her eyes had a sheen on them. She said, “I think it’s time I learned a second element.”

    Naruto couldn’t find it in him to disagree.

    They also found a guide on tricks with shurikenjutsu, by Uchiha Shisui and Uchiha I- That Man… much to the disgust of his best friend, but she still kept it, mainly because of Shisui from what she said; a guide on wire use by Uchiha Fugaku; a guide on using the Shunshin in battle, by Uchiha Shisui, and incomplete documentation of two jutsu called the Raiton Chakra Mode and Hell Stab, by Mikoto again.

    She had supposedly started writing the Lightning guide when she had been twenty one and a recently retired Jounin. The Hell Stab and Raiton Chakra Mode, she had written when she had been seventeen, a rookie Jounin. She was one of the few who had survived going up against the Third Raikage, in the first open battle of the Third Shinobi World War, though with a serious shoulder wound according to Biwako, who had just skimmed through some of the text.

    Other interesting things were a jutsu called Housenka Tsumabeni, which made use of the rare Fire Style Chakra Flow, written by That Man with some help from Fugaku; the Clone Great Explosion, by That Man, along with the Shadow Clone, its kind-of parent jutsu; also Gouryuuka (Great Dragon Flame), Gouka Mekkyaku (Great Fire Annihilation) and Gouka Messhitsu (Great Fire Destruction), all written by Madara, the Gouryuuka co-written with Izuna like the previous guide.

    According to Biwako again, Gouryuuka needed very high Chakra control, even though it was supposed to be weaker than the other two. In return, its range -and something called ‘versatility’. What was that?- was incredible, though it would also cost more Chakra the further it went from the user.

    Finally, a series of books on genjutsu and Yin Style. Some had been written by unknown clan heads and relatives thereof; others co-written by Madara and Izuna, some co-written by Shisui and That Man and yet more written in collaboration by both of Biwako’s parents, Fugaku and Mikoto.

    They had found a literal treasure trove of techniques, ninjutsu and otherwise. The two of them couldn’t keep the smiles off their faces, and they ended up studying the ninja arts well into the night, though they were smart enough to start from the basics. Barely. Fortunately, the morning after they had gotten into the library was a Sunday.

    On the next school day, Naruto was nervous about seeing Iruka. He couldn’t eat much of his breakfast and could only think of how angry his teacher might be.

    During the Academy’s lessons, Iruka didn’t act any different, but when he dismissed the class, Naruto stayed behind. When Iruka didn’t comment and simply started grading some tests, Naruto started sweating.

    He couldn’t take it anymore and shouted, “Iruka-sensei!”

    Iruka looked up from his tests, his expression unreadable. He said, “yes, Naruto?” Tests and pen left to the side of his desk.

    “I’m really sorry, sensei! I shouldn’t have blown you off like that!” Naruto said, ending up rambling a bit, after that; partly because he still didn’t like apologizing, even to Iruka.

    Iruka held up a hand. He said, “okay Naruto, I get it. Should I assume that apologizing to the civilians too is out of the question, though?”

    Naruto looked everywhere but at Iruka.

    “Your silence says it all,” Iruka said, dryly, “it’s not easy to forgive, I know. Just don’t lash out like that again.”

    “You got it, Iruka-sensei!” Naruto said seriously.

    -----

    *(Biwako’s Lightning affinity improved a little bit in that exchange. Biwako’s talent for Fire improved more, though: her Fire Element ended up being an actual natural affinity when it had only been the secondary element.
    In response, Naruto’s Water Element and Wind Element improved greatly. His Wind element remains a non-affinity, though.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
  2. Felius

    Felius Versed in the lewd.

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,742
    Likes Received:
    8,954
    I'm guessing you wrote it elsewhere, likely a Word Document, and copied it to the forums, and it also took the font it was previously used? Not really a problem, it's just always a little bit weird when suddenly the letters look a different in the forum.

    Rather too cliche to be honest. "Suddenly a genius after learning how to properly read" is perhaps a bit too much. Maybe get him to get a significant but non-extreme improvement at first, and then keep improving until he gets to the top of the class like this?

    Far too harsh from Iruka. It's a jealous 8 years old who had a pretty massive change in her world, and he went straight up for crushing her. Would expect him, of all people, to be at least less of an asshole about it. Maybe still brisk and short with her, but less of "maybe you suck and shouldn't follow your dreams after all". Or at least framing it more in lines of "that behavior is unbecoming off Ninja" instead of "You shouldn't be ninja if you are jealous".
    And Mito needs a lot more introduction. Naruto already starts disliking her, despite her apparently being aggressively trying to socialize and befriend him, who, while probably in a bit better spot than canon, was likely to still be desperate for attention and social contact. There needs to be more, before this, to explain why he so dislikes her instead of it being for no reason. It doesn't need to be some great and justified reason, but it needs at least to make sense for a small kid to do so. And "instinctive but unrecognized feelings of sibling rivalry" don't really cut it.

    Also, if they truly are siblings and not cousins or something, it really doesn't make that much sense for the village to separate them: The whole issue with keeping him being Minato's son a secret was because being Minato's kid is really dangerous, specially without Minato alive to protect him. It's not connected with him being the Jinchiriku, that's a separate secret. And even if they were separated, I'd expect that the Hokage would at least try to throw them together some to give them some degree of family, even if lacking. If that isn't the case, it will also need justification, although it can be left for future chapters.

    Edit: Minor changes to first line for clarity.
     
    BronTheThird and AoMythology like this.
  3. AoMythology

    AoMythology Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2018
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    319
    Hmm.... What's the default Font on QQ?

    Hmm... maybe make it obvious that a while has passed...?

    Well, Sakura has quite the rap sheet in this fic, metaphorically speaking, so Iruka just reacted. Maybe I should make that more obvious, or make it as you say... or even both.

    Yeah, Naruto is jealous himself, or rather envious of her popularity. I will edit accordingly.

    Let's just say it's a Danzo-controlled clusterf@#k and leave it at that for now.

    ...Thanks for bothering to critique my fic! This chapter seems to need a lot of corrections, still.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2020
  4. Felius

    Felius Versed in the lewd.

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,742
    Likes Received:
    8,954
    Either Arial or Helvetica, I can't quite tell. Copied stuff seems to be coming in Tahoma, which, again, is not a problem, it just a bit dissonant with the rest of the writing in the forum.
     
  5. AoMythology

    AoMythology Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2018
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    319
    I made some changes.

    Instead of Naruto being one of the top students in 'a few months' after he started learning to read well with Iruka, I made it '2-3 months for adequacy, +1 month for slightly above average reading, +6 more months to reach the point described'. I also made Iruka be less harsh with Sakura and had Naruto give his reasons for having disliked Mito.

    What do you think, Felius ?

    Edit: Also, is the Font the same as the rest now?
     
  6. Felius

    Felius Versed in the lewd.

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2013
    Messages:
    1,742
    Likes Received:
    8,954
    On Naruto's progress: This does work quite well. Not personally to my preference, as I do rather find more interesting with Naruto really not being all that good in an academic setting, and far more of a kinesthetic learner and someone who improves much better by actually doing the job instead of a class room or learning theory, but that's just personal preference, not actually a criticism of the narrative.

    On Iruka's reaction to Sakura's treatment, yeah, that one is much better. Remember, she's an 8 year old kid. Of course she's petty and immature. Sure, ninja life does cause an alarming number of kids maturing too fast, between the geniuses and all the trauma going around, but while she's actually quite solidly above the average, possibly to prodigious levels (keep in mind, none of the characters who got any attention in the series are, by any means, average), but she's not an outright genius rushing ahead of her peers, nor has she been forced to do so by personal trauma or expectations. She's a very smart 8 year old girl, who's acting like an 8 year old girl. She definitely needed to be reproached, but not outright discouraged from her goals. This new version works for that.

    Naruto's dislike of Mito: Works a bit better. I still don't quite feel it's justified given his context, but I can accept that perhaps she just rubs him wrong. It's not like he's all that mature either, and although I'd expect him to latch on anyone who gives him enough attention, it's not unthinkable that some people just have problems with each other.

    And yeah, the font now seems the same as the rest of the posts.
     
  7. AoMythology

    AoMythology Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2018
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    319
    Yeah, Naruto is more of a balanced learner, with only a mild leaning towards kinesthetic learning here. There's a (plot) reason for that. Mito is a bit more like canon Naruto in that regard, I'd say.

    I took inspiration from how Naruto wanted to surpass Sasuke in canon. Of course, with Sasuke, Naruto longed for his acknowledgment as well, but since he already has the acknowledgment and friendship of the Sasuke equivalent here.... Well, I suppose he isn't as desperate as in canon at this point.

    Besides, this Naruto has a bit of a different background to the canon one; so he has ended up less trusting and less positive. No support from Sarutobi, for one; that shop (butcher's) scene wouldn't have gone that way, had Naruto had Sarutobi in his corner. You will see more on that in the future.

    Yeah, I Selected All, then Cleared Formatting; then, I copy-pasted the new version (Selecting All again, to replace the old with the new).
     
  8. Threadmarks: Story1.5
    AoMythology

    AoMythology Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2018
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    319
    Short Interlude (Ch 1.5)

    -----

    Snake, Ram, Monkey, Boar, Horse, Tiger ‘Goukakyuu no jutsu’ (‘Great Fireball jutsu’). Biwako molded Chakra in her mouth, inhaling to fill her stomach with air, along with Chakra. Then, she immediately blew all the air and Chakra back out, turning it Fire-natured as it left her mouth.

    Unlike what was -had been- usual, something went unexpectedly wrong or right in that last step, though.

    (WHOOSH!)

    The lake Biwako was aiming at had nearly boiled… or rather it would have, if it weren't so deep and somehow unnaturally resistant to fire and Fire ninjutsu, even for water. There was a sudden improvement in the power and reduction in the Chakra cost of her Great Fireball jutsu, and Biwako couldn’t for the life of her figure out why and how.

    She couldn’t just accept her good fortune; an unknown factor like that might come back to bite her – her brother’s changing behavior ended up-

    ‘No, I won’t think about that!’

    Naruto was also someone she had a hard time predicting, but in that case, it might be a good thing; she needed someone in her life to keep her sane -she didn’t want to snap and become like that man-, and Naruto was perfect for the job. The fact that he was an excellent rival, with talent of a level she could never have expected, was the cherry on top.

    He makes you weak, whispered a voice that sounded a lot like Ita- like that man.

    So much so, that she repeated her hand seals, letting out a Great Fireball that created even more steam than before, leaving her panting.

    Without meaning to, her mind went back to simpler times; her father teaching her the Great Fireball, to be exact.

    ('As expected; you are my child, after all.')

    ‘Dad,’ Biwako thought, a few drops almost but not quite falling out of her eyes. She longed for those simpler times, of piggyback rides on a brother who didn’t seem to be a psychopath, of a mother and a father and an entire clan of relatives… and hated herself for it.

    “Oi, Biwako! Time for lunch!” A voice shouted, making Biwako start. Naruto was behind her, in the place where her father had been standing when he had acknowledged her, waving at her and asking if something was wrong.

    “Coming!” Biwako said, laughing without humor under her breath.

    Food was ready; it was Naruto’s turn to cook, as usual. The both of them were about equally as good at cooking… which was to say decent, maybe even good but not great; they had split the jobs that way for good reason, though.

    After they had eaten, Biwako had a question for Naruto, something she had been curious about for a while. So, she said, “so, Naruto, I told you about who I hate the most. But who is the one you hate the most?” Very interested in his answer.

    Naruto didn’t even think it over and said, “Yamanaka Maifa!” His face twisting into an ugly expression.

    Biwako was surprised. “The Academy’s Deputy Headmistress? What did she do?” She said, smelling a story behind this.

    Naruto nodded and started speaking again. He said, “you see, it started when Ami and her two cronies tried to bully me. I had weird hang-ups then, like avoiding hitting girls, so they beat me up when they saw I wasn't reacting to their taunts the way they wanted. That’s when I fought back, hitting Ami in the arm and accidentally snapping it, but a teacher saw the last part and brought me to Maifa’s office. Ami’s cronies tried to run away, but the teacher -one of the assistants, Mizuki-sensei- was thorough and took everyone to Maifa.

    »Maifa questioned us, seemingly to understand what had happened; Ami tried to be excused to go to the hospital, but that woman wouldn’t let her. Even the teacher wasn’t allowed to leave or tell Ami’s parents. It still seemed like I was going to be blamed for everything, though. But when Maifa was told that nobody else had seen what happened, a gleam appeared in her eye.

    »Suddenly, none of us could move; I only heard a whisper of ‘Shinranshin no jutsu’ (‘Mind Body Disturbance jutsu’). The teacher asked her what she was doing and why, and I still remember her words. She said, and I quote, ‘this boy is an important military asset. I cannot let a lowly bully from a minor clan ruin that. If need be, I will make the girl “disappear” and make her parents forget about her’. She… did something to all of them, and afterwards, Ami and her cronies remembered nothing, and she now thinks she broke her arm in a fall. Mizuki-sensei doesn’t seem to remember, either – but the man has been- different since then.

    »I broke out of the jutsu holding me still in my anger. Maifa simply looked at me with a smile, complimenting my power, for breaking her Shinranshin. For some unknown reason, she didn’t try to do anything to my memories, but she did tell me nobody would believe me if I told on her. That might mean she was working alone, but I’m not gonna trust a word that comes out of her mouth. After what happened that day, I realized what Konoha is really like. I’ve let Iruka-sensei believe that I’m going to protect Konoha’s citizens, but the only reasons I haven’t left yet is because I have nowhere else to go and Sensei himself. Recognition from them? Ha! Who cares! Sorry I haven’t been very open with you.”

    Biwako was looking at Naruto wide-eyed. The bitterness she saw from him reminded her of when she asked herself, ‘why didn’t the ANBU or the Hokage notice on that night?’

    She asked him, “are you going to take revenge on her?” Looking at him in a new light.

    Naruto shook his head. He said, “what’s the point? If she’s working with the higher-ups, then what am I going to do? Kill the Hokage too? He’s the Headmaster of the Academy, after all. If she was working on her own, then she was trying to help me in her own twisted way. Very, very twisted. I still don’t get the crap about military assets, though.”

    “You know what this means, though, right?” Biwako said, smirking, “we need to go to the Uchiha library so that we can research exactly what that bitch meant.”

    After all, while the main thing the library contained was information on the ninja arts and jutsu, hence it being called the Uchiha Jutsu Library or Uchiha Shinobi Library, it had more than that. Information on various clans, even Konoha’s -for some reason, especially Konoha’s- memoirs of various Uchiha and more.

    Naruto said, "Biwako!" Looking at her with his mouth open; was it that rare for Biwako to use that kind of word? She smiled, or rather smirked again, smug for having flustered Naruto. He then smiled at Biwako shakily and hugged her tightly, chuckling under his breath.

    ‘He’s starting to grow on me,’ Biwako thought, ‘like a fungus,’ which made her smirk wider.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
    Rikallyn likes this.
  9. Threadmarks: Story2
    AoMythology

    AoMythology Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2018
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    319
    After those rumors that Naruto had hit a civilian, Konoha became really fearful and hostile. To keep his agreement with Iruka, Naruto avoided being out and about unless it was to go to the Academy. Once, when a villager threw a rock at him, Naruto played a nasty prank on him later that ended up with the man having an arm and leg broken, his skull frac-tured and in a coma for two weeks by accident.

    Naruto hadn’t been caught. Even Iruka had never suspected a thing, but Naruto swore to himself that he would be more careful from then on, ignoring the voice in his mind saying ‘why bother?’ Well, it should at least be on purpose. I refuse to have so little control!

    After eavesdropping on a conversation between a teacher and that monster of a Deputy Headmistress, Yamanaka Maifa, he found out how the teams were formed. He had the choice between being the Rookie of the Year and the Dead Last, and he decided on being Dead Last – mainly because the villagers of Konoha might fear and hate him less if he weren’t seen as powerful. Though pretty much the only reason he cared was his promise to Iruka.

    On an unspoken agreement, Naruto and Biwako didn’t use the Shadow Clone in their next few spars -even after learning it well-, much less its explosive variant, even though both of them had learned the two jutsu. Of course, that might have something to do with how much Chakra they took and the way they split stamina between them – Naruto’s Shadow Clones barely had enough Chakra to explode when he made more than five or six.

    Naruto started working on the Wind Style training; he tried to cut a leaf using only his Chakra, which was much harder than it sounded. He had already managed the Water element exercise in less than two weeks. Biwako’s feat of managing the Lightning exercises about equally as quickly didn’t surprise Naruto much; such feats were only to be expected when it came to her.

    After several months, Naruto managed to fully cut the leaf, partly thanks to Madara’s advice in the prologue of his beginners’ book (‘imagine two spinning discs making contact. The point of contact is where the cut spreads, in two directions’). After that, he learned a D-rank Wind ninjutsu, Fuuton: Shou (Wind Style: Thrust), which pushed one relatively small object or person away. It took him three weeks or so to learn Shou.

    He had also studied the Uchiha clan’s information on the Senju clan’s fighting styles. For some reason, Naruto felt drawn to the Senju clan, Hashirama and Tobirama the most of them. Well, Tobirama had been the greatest Suiton user in the history of Konoha.

    Naruto was good at learning by doing things with his body. That didn’t mean that he wasn’t good at learning from books and scrolls, though; it was just slightly slower going. He needed some help from Iruka, but he managed to piece together some of the Senju clan’s styles.

    Naruto was also starting to get the hang of the fewer hand-seals thing – he had recently managed to substitute with one of his Water Clones without Biwako noticing in a spar, mainly because he could use the Kawarimi (Substitution / Body Replacement) with only one hand-seal.

    The track record of the two of them remained about equal, and neither had managed more than two wins in a row. They also found out their elements through Chakra paper, a process that held surprises for both of them. Biwako stared into… well, nothing, after her paper crinkled into a ball, then burned to ash.

    According to her, her talent for Fire Style had increased recently, but that she would have two affinities was still a surprise.

    As for Naruto, he had expected Water, but not Earth in his affinities.

    The Hawks started to train Biwako, including in Raiton and the basics of using her nose for tracking, and the advantage of her having a high-level teacher and him not having one proved to be too much. That was the first time Naruto lost three weeks in a row, so he went to Iruka for advice.

    -----

    “Iruka-sensei,” Naruto said, distressed, “I need help ‘ttebayo.”

    “What is it, Naruto?” Iruka said, putting down his cup of tea calmly.

    So Naruto told him the problem without details. He told him that he had a rival, and that they were surpassing him; none of the skills he could learn at the moment could counter their skills, and he didn’t want to get left behind; would his rival throw him away in that case?

    Iruka smiled a bit. He said, “firstly, if you two are friends, not just rivals, then they won’t throw you away. Secondly, have you tried improving what you’re best at instead of learning new skills? Try not to learn too much at once; it’s like trying to look left and right at the same time.”

    Naruto thought it over. Wind Style was a bust; he just wasn’t good enough at it to counter Biwako’s improved Raiton. Even if he learned Earth jutsu, Earth simply wasn’t good against Lightning. So, that left the Water element. ‘Yes,’ he thought, ‘there has to be a reason it’s not considered weak to Lightning, con-duc-tor or not.’

    “Thanks Iruka-sensei,” Naruto said with a grin and hugged his teacher.

    “Ow. Can’t- breathe,” Iruka said, getting paler and paler.

    “Oops. Sorry, sensei,” Naruto said, blushing in embarrassment, and released the man.

    Naruto read up on water and discovered that only when the water had ‘impurities’ did it remain a good conductor of electricity. So, he looked into some books on chemistry and physics. He managed to purify the water on the fly, which took him nearly as long to manage as extracting the water from a leaf without hand-seals had, despite help in training from Shadow Clones; a trick which he discovered thanks to Iruka’s advice, again. It was possibly the most difficult skill he had ever tried to learn related to the Water element.

    Naruto had to invent a whole new hand-seal through knowledge of Chakra theory and clone trial-and-error both. To be exact, he made a modified version of the Dog seal, which was less costly than trying an actual higher level purified jutsu.

    He only had the Chakra reserves of a slightly above average adult Chuunin if he was estimating things right, but the quick restoration of his Chakra and his great Chakra control allowed him to train with two clones for hours; more clones, when he was doing something less costly, like when he made the new hand-seal.

    Naruto had a new appreciation for Senju Tobirama, who had been a very productive jutsu inventor. Naruto's clones had nearly blown themselves up more than once when making the new hand-seal.

    The help of a medic-nin didn’t hurt, with his own custom food pills, which allowed Naruto to get enough nutrients and energy for him not to need to take many breaks to eat when training. The skill of purifying the water, despite how costly it was in terms of Chakra, got him the win for two matches straight.

    -----

    The Hokage was in the Academy, and all the students stood at attention. He gave a speech and introduced an ANBU by the codename ‘Wildcat’. Wildcat told them about his Mokuton, which was the combination of Water and Earth natured Chakra, and showed them two jutsu: the Moku Bunshin (Wood Clone) and a ninjutsu which made houses out of nowhere.

    Naruto couldn’t believe his eyes and ears. Could it be – could he have Mokuton? He met Biwako’s eyes, and the same shock was in them.

    -----

    Naruto tried for days to use the Wood Clone, to no avail. Again. Tiger, Dog, Snake, “Mokuton: Moku Bunshin no jutsu!”

    Nothing again. “Damn it,” he said, fists clenched, “why the fuck can’t I do it?!”

    Biwako whispered that a bloodline might need to be activated in an intense situation first, but Naruto wouldn’t give up; he knew he could do it as he was!

    The next try created a bit of sawdust, which didn’t look like much, but it was, in fact, his first success in using Mokuton. If he ignored how healthy and strong his trees and plants were and how incredibly high-quality the fruit and vegetables were, that is. In hindsight, it was obvious; when he was in a good mood, the plants seemed more alive, but he had thought that was a trick of the light. As for the time he had brought a dead plant back to life, that was probably a fluke he’d need lots of practice to manage again.

    “Yatta!” Naruto said and started jumping around.

    After winding down, he saw Biwako’s serious expression. He said, “what’s wrong, Biwako?”

    “So, you’re a Senju,” Biwako said, expression unreadable.

    “Well, yes, apparently. Is that gonna be a problem?” Naruto said. Will she not want to talk to me again?

    Biwako shook her head and smiled; she actually smiled! She said, “no, but it’s fitting, don’t you think?”

    “Fitting?” Naruto asked, a bit confused.

    “Madara and Hashirama,” Biwako explained, “only one could match the other; it might well be the start of something legendary, this rivalry we share.”

    Naruto smiled too, for real, and all plant-life around them came alive.

    “Wait,” Naruto said, “does that mean Tsunade-sama is my mother or grandmother, or something?”

    Biwako blinked. She said, “I didn’t think of that. Should we look for her? I could put the Hawks on a search.”

    Naruto said yes to the idea, and felt really happy; he might have a living family member out there! He nearly didn’t notice that Biwako looked sad and envious. Nearly. After all, he was very good at reading his only friend.

    He put a hand on Biwako’s shoulder. He could see how she put on a brave face, but was hurting inside; he didn’t begrudge her the envy she felt, and silently showed his support.

    Biwako unexpectedly hugged him, and Naruto couldn’t believe his senses. It was only the second time she had initiated something like that outside of their sleeping arrangements, and the first time it lasted so long. She trembled a bit in his arms, but she didn’t cry. She might not be able to cry anymore.

    -----

    Naruto was planning his tactics on their new spar; he couldn’t think of how to beat Biwako a third time in a row, but he would try his best; she had copied him in using Shadow Clones to train, and had learned a new jutsu that could rip through his defenses. Perhaps Iruka’s advice of playing to his strengths would hold true again.

    Mokuton was a tough nut to crack, so he wouldn’t keep on that for now. He’d look up in the Uchiha archives what his female relative was known for, other than her medical ninjutsu; same with Hashirama. He’d also ask Iruka.

    -----

    “Well, let’s see,” Iruka said, nursing a cup of tea, “Tsunade-sama? Where do I start? You see, Tsunade-sama is known for her great Chakra-enhanced physical strength; Shodai-sama was also a medic-nin, like his granddaughter.”

    “Any details on her strength?” Naruto asked, leaning forward in interest. That sounded familiar.

    “Well,” Iruka said, “I don’t know for sure, but apparently the key to her enhanced strength is timing, precise Chakra Control and knowledge of anatomy. She’s also naturally strong, even without it. Why? Do you want to try to reverse engineer it?”

    “Maybe,” Naruto said, smiling at Iruka mysteriously; or, at least, that was what Naruto hoped it looked like. Naruto had managed something like Tsunade’s strength before- no, don’t think about it

    “Well, I wish you luck,” Iruka said, winking at Naruto, “it’s going to be a long and difficult road.”

    Naruto nodded and thanked Iruka, snapping out of his thoughts. He decided to stay there and finish his own tea; Iruka promised that he would treat him to lots of ramen if he managed to get the basics of Tsunade’s Chakra-enhanced strength. Considering the fact that he had probably had the basics instinctively since four years of age- no. I decided I won’t think of that. I won’t!

    Naruto shook his head and shrugged his shoulders repeatedly. He tried to think of something, anything, else. His Academy teacher…? Yeah . Iruka no longer asked Naruto to raise his grades, because Naruto told him that he was trying to rig the team selection. That might have given away the fact that Biwako was his rival, but he didn’t mind; Iruka was discreet. He wouldn’t tell anyone unless he was certain, at least.

    A tear ran down his face and it got slightly harder to breathe because his nose had started clogging. Asuna-san… why?

    -----

    Naruto had put together what he had found out from the Uchiha shinobi library and what Iruka had told him. He would try to use his strength beyond lethal situations. Mold Yang Style Chakra at the right moment; put it into my arms, including the shoulders and shoulder blades and release it as I… punch! Ahhhh!

    It had only taken him a few days to get down the basics of Yang Style by making a leaf harder, a record that went beyond even his Water Style training… which had been sped up by the fact he had already gotten down a C-rank Water element ninjutsu in the form of the Water Clone.

    He destroyed the small tree he was using as a target with one punch. He was hurt by the backlash, though; his right arm was broken in at least one place, and his knuckles were bleeding. It was lucky he healed extremely quickly. So, he decided to work more on his Chakra Control and anatomy knowledge; first, he would read books while his arm was healing on its own.

    If his reading speed was slower because of the distraction of the pain and being reduced to one hand, well, that wasn’t a huge problem. His pain tolerance was insanely high, according to Biwako. Well, all those bullying kids at the first orphanage 'helped'.

    After his arm got better he, the original, did a new Chakra Control exercise, the Tree Climbing, while two clones were slaving over his book on the human body and its workings. Now, he could climb a tree without using his hands. It took him only three tries until he was able to manage it; then, he stuck leaves on himself to make the whole thing harder.

    Unfortunately, the Water Walking exercise was much more difficult. One step, two- crap!-
    (Splash!)

    Naruto kept failing at it, but he didn’t stop trying. It took him hours, especially with the distraction of Shadow Clones dispelling and him recreating them, without using them to help him get the exercise, but he managed to stand on water shakily.

    The next day, after he could manage to spar with a Shadow Clone without falling in, with a leaf stuck on his forehead, he called it quits and went back to trying to use Tsunade’s strength technique… consciously, at least.

    He was targeting a boulder this time because he didn’t want to cause any more damage to trees. His knuckles bled again, but he could tell it was skin deep; he hadn't broken his arm, nor knuckles when he had cracked the boulder. He was pretty sure that he had made his punch stronger than the previous time and much stronger than the subconscious uses of his past. Ugh. He would go to the hospital to be certain that his arm had healed correctly before, though; mainly because Biwako would be on his ass if he didn’t. Ugh again.

    -----

    “So, you say that you broke your arm in at least one place… yesterday?” The medic-nin, Yakushi Kabuto -the same one who had given him food pills- said, “I can see that your bones have broken and mended perfectly, in two places. It’s like weeks or months of mending have taken place! You have an amazing healing factor, Naruto-kun. In the future, though, be sure to come to me immediately; there is always the chance you will heal incorrectly.”

    Naruto nodded with a smile and said, “okay, Kabuto-sensei.”

    Kabuto rubbed his head in embarrassment. He said, “no need to be so formal, Naruto-kun; I’ve told you that before. Call me Kabuto-san, or something.”

    “Very well, Kabuto-san. Thank you for your help,” Naruto said and bowed to the teenage medic-nin. This was the first person who treated him as a human being in the hospital, so he made sure to always be polite and courteous.

    At first, he had feared that Kabuto was trying to poison him with those pills, but the older male had proved himself good on his word. The fifteen-year-old, white (gray?) haired medic-nin had unofficially become Naruto’s physician – Kabuto was always called upon whenever Naruto was in the hospital, on Kabuto’s own request. The man also often gave Naruto tips on nutrition.

    Kabuto nodded back and gave him a piece of advice: “One last thing, Naruto-kun. Make sure to get enough nutrients, especially from eating red meat, fish and yoghurt for proteins, certain vitamins and calcium. There is a chance that healing your bones like that has used a lot of your body’s stores of nutrients, and you don’t eat enough red meat; I could tell,” Kabuto said, serious as only a medic-nin or doctor giving advice could be.

    Naruto grimaced. Yoghurt was yucky, but he would bear with it; he already had Ayame and Teuchi to nag him to drink milk, so he wasn’t lacking in calcium – just in case Naruto’s healing took a lot of nutrients, though, he had better be careful. He would make sure to eat more meat as well. It wasn’t that he didn’t like it; it was just something Biwako, who did most of the shopping, often ‘forgot’ to buy.

    After all, the nearest butcher was a bit too worshipful of Biwako, and disliked Naruto very much, which Biwako couldn't stand – he didn't blame her; that guy had kicked Naruto out with no reason. Maybe hunting animals would be better, or at least sending clones to keep from losing out on training time.

    Kabuto also said that ‘most of the more obscure vitamins that are necessary to convert calcium effectively and efficiently, are actually present in more than high enough of a concentration in you, which is rather rare.’ “You probably won’t need supplements other than my food pills, Naruto-kun,” Kabuto said afterwards. Then, the older male absentmindedly told Naruto he was free to go, so Naruto left.

    ‘It must be all those fruits and vegetables that keep me from missing vitamins,’ Naruto thought. He had made it his mission to obtain seeds and other samples of various kinds of trees, bushes and plants that produced something edible; then, he made them grow relatively quickly with his Mokuton.

    Larger-scale jutsu -or any actual combat jutsu- of that element were still beyond him; he could only make lower-sized trees, too. The Wood Clone was still something he couldn’t use well; it was like something had helped him with the dead tomato plant – maybe it was the emotions he had felt then?

    He had played around with the Earth element a bit, but couldn’t put much time into it. He had managed to cover a leaf with a little bit of dirt over the past month; it should take another month to manage it perfectly at that pace.

    -----

    The time of the spar between Naruto and Biwako had arrived, and Biwako couldn’t wait. The two of them stood in a stance, and on an unspoken signal, they attacked each other with taijutsu.

    They knew each other’s style too well to manage anything, though, so Biwako activated her -very basic and weak- version of the Hell Stab. Naruto- punched the ground?!

    Biwako lost her balance and very nearly pierced herself with her own jutsu. By the time she recovered, Naruto was on her… and punched her in the gut.

    Biwako’s world was spinning, and she thought, ‘what- the hell- happened?’

    …Naruto had been smug for the entire day; Biwako couldn’t be (too) angry at him, but she was angry at herself for losing so easily. She had to step up her game. But what would she work on? It needed to be too quick to allow Naruto to disrupt her balance, or maybe… yes, Housenka no jutsu (Phoenix Sage Fire / Phoenix Flower jutsu) should work.

    After all, the Hell Stab was a bust for now; the information was too incomplete, it was weaker without learning the Raiton Chakra Mode and even if she had been able to use it well, the full version was too lethal for a spar. When she was better-rested, Biwako made sure to memorize the Housenka no jutsu scroll from the genin section of the Library. After managing that, she went to practice it by the lake.

    She went through the hand-seals, and-

    (“Nii-san, nii-san! Please show me one of your jutsu!” Biwako said, hoping that her brother would show her something amazing.

    She half-expected a poke in the forehead, but Itachi nodded, saying, “all right, Biwako. I have some time now that the Chuunin Exams are over.”

    Her brother had just become a chuunin at ten - he was amazing! He took her to a training ground near a river.

    The jutsu Itachi showed her was called ‘Housenka Tsumabeni’ (Crimson Claw of the Phoenix / Phoenix Flower, Crimson Nail / Phoenix Sage Fire, Crimson Claw). He threw a few shuriken and set them on fire. Then, those flaming shuriken completely destroyed a few targets, changing their course in midair.

    Wow. “How did you do that, nii-san? The shuriken moved on their own! Is it because of the fire? Is moving like that the difference between the Housenka no jutsu Dad showed me and this one? Is it-?”

    (Poke!)

    Biwako rubbed her forehead, saying, “ow! Nii-san! You’re mean!”

    Itachi shook his head in exasperation and said, “foolish little sister. One question at a time. Now, this is a Chakra Flow jutsu; using the Fire element in Chakra Flow is very difficult, so it is rare. While Father is capable of using this jutsu, I am the only one to truly master it in generations; the only one with Fire Chakra Flow of this caliber or higher in Konoha -definitely higher, I admit- was Sarutobi Sasuke, Hokage-sama’s father. When you were in Mother’s womb, we thought you were a boy, so you nearly got named ‘Sasuke’.”

    All Biwako heard was that her brother was incredible; she didn’t much care about people who had died. Wait a moment. “Nii-san,” Biwako said, “where did the name ‘Biwako’ come from then?” Thoughtful.

    “Like Sarutobi Sasuke, Hokage-sama’s father, was one of the strongest male shinobi of his generation, Sarutobi Biwako -Hokage-sama’s late wife- was one of the strongest kunoichi of her own. Sarutobi Sasuke was an incredible Katon (Fire Style) user, while Sarutobi Biwako used Fuuton (Wind Style) with paper fans to augment her husband’s own Fire Style from afar. It was my idea to name you Sasuke or Biwako,” Itachi said, “but I digress. The difference between Housenka and Housenka Tsumabeni is like the cool early morning weather and the blazing early afternoon sun,” Itachi said, smiling fondly.

    Itachi then said that Housenka Tsumabeni was far hotter and could be controlled from afar much better than Housenka.

    “Why didn’t you say that in the first place, nii-san?” Biwako said, definitely NOT pouting!)

    …The Fire jutsu fizzled out, making Biwako breathe out a ball of fire smaller than an adult’s fingernail.

    Biwako shook her head and tried again. She had to be strong enough to beat Naruto! And kill- that man, of course.

    …Biwako tried for hours to get that jutsu, even using Shadow Clones like Naruto, but it didn’t help her get it. Flashbacks of that man kept getting into her mind. She hated him, didn’t she? Then, why did she keep remembering all that?!

    What was worse, she couldn’t detect a single hint of that man faking his emotions even now! Was he that great of an actor? What was the truth and what was a lie?

    (‘People live their lives by what they accept as correct and true. But what does it mean to be “correct” or “true”? Such vague concepts… Their reality may well be only an illusion.’)

    (‘I'll always be there for you, even as an obstacle for you to overcome. That's what big brothers are for.’)

    Uchiha Itachi was so confusing! At first glance, he was either a psychopath and pretending all along or someone who had snapped under the pressures of ninja life and gone homicidally insane, then pretended to have been a psychopath all along for- some unknown reason.

    All Biwako could tell was that Itachi was a lying liar who lied. But what was true and what was a lie? Fact was, Itachi had tortured her with their clan’s deaths for hours, making her go unconscious for close to three days.

    (‘I did it to test the limits of my abilities.’)

    (‘There is no value in killing the likes of you... Foolish little sister, if you wish to kill me, then hate me, scorn me, and survive in an unsightly way. Run, run and cling to your pitiful life.’)

    Biwako grit her teeth, but something struck her as strange once again. She thought that man’s words over, and realized what was wrong: the man had killed even the babies (she shuddered at that). Then, why had he told her she wasn’t worth killing? Had he only been trying to rile her up to keep her from thinking about any inconsistencies?

    If so, it had worked. It fucking worked. But what was the true purpose? She had already established that Itachi was one of the biggest liars in existence, but there had to be something she was missing! Did it have something to do with his tears on that day?

    Wait, tears? Why did she remember Itachi shedding tears when he was attacking her, and why had she only remembered now?

    ‘The mystery deepens,’ Biwako thought.

    Uchiha Itachi was more complicated than he had allowed her to see, and she would make sure to investigate him thoroughly before killing him. Going back to practicing Housenka no jutsu, she swore that Itachi wouldn’t get to pull the wool over her eyes ever again!

    …After two days of trying to get Housenka no jutsu, Biwako was feeling impatient. Should she-? ‘Well, it worked for Naruto and for the Summoning jutsu,’ Biwako thought, ‘why not now?’

    So, Biwako went to Iruka for advice. The man was sitting at his office, probably grading assignments. The girl cleared her throat, making Iruka finally acknowledge her presence.

    Iruka said, “Biwako. What brings you here today?”

    “Iruka… sensei,” Biwako said, reluctantly showing the man respect, “I need some advice.”

    Iruka put down his pen and looked at Biwako in curiosity. He said, “I see,” stopping at that.

    Biwako took a deep breath and told Iruka that she was trying to learn a jutsu, but found it impossible to manage it. She even told him about the flashbacks to that man that she got whenever she tried it.

    Iruka mulled it over for a bit, then said, “that jutsu – is it Katon (Fire Style)?”

    “Yes,” Biwako said, not elaborating.

    “I think I see the problem – after all, I am a Katon user myself, though my primary element is Water,” Iruka said, taking on a lecture pose, “Fire is unique in that it is fueled by the user’s passion. An indecisive and torn heart cannot perform Fire Style well. While all jutsu need focus, and one’s Spiritual Energy, thus their Chakra, is affected by emotions, Fire is especially unforgiving of lapses. For most jutsu, the most consistent results come when the user is calm and focused. Fire needs both that and passion; you need to be in control of your passion. Not the other way around. Especially when first learning a jutsu.”

    Biwako digested that for a few moments. She hated that man, didn’t she? Why was she torn? But she wouldn’t lie to herself – she was, after all, very confused by Itachi’s behavior. Then, deciding to bite the shuriken, she said, “what kind of emotions are best and how do I get through my mental block?”

    Iruka said, “good question,” rubbing the back of his head. Then, he said, “the best kind of emotions to use are hatred and love, though protectiveness and lust for battle work too. As for your mental block… well, I’m not sure. Have you tried thinking of someone other than your brother? If you have someone you want to protect, it might help.”

    Biwako let out a quiet sigh, then said, “thanks Iruka-sensei,” trying to think of how exactly she would follow Iruka’s advice.

    “You’re welcome, Biwako. Do you know that another student came to me for help with their Suiton (Water Style), Chakra sensing and reverse engineering Tsunade-sama and Shodai-sama’s techniques relatively recently?” Iruka said, giving her a knowing smile. Then, he said, “you are also not the first Uchiha I have ever interacted with. Just remember this: Uchiha have a tendency of withdrawing into themselves whenever their emotions get too intense due to fear. I can only hope you are brave enough when that time comes.”

    Is that a challenge? Biwako shrugged, bid Iruka goodbye and left, thinking, ‘that teacher is too smart for his own good! Well, I shouldn’t use Shadow Clones for now. They might affect my concentration and spiritual energy.’ As for Iruka’s last few sentences, Biwako found them cryptic and clear at the same time.

    …Biwako was back at the pier. She went through the hand-seals for Housenka no jutsu. She imagined Naruto and protecting him against enemy ninjas, letting out a much larger ball of fire – it wasn’t right yet, though: Housenka released multiple balls of fire, not just one, and it was still weaker than it should be.

    After a bit of thought about Itachi and Naruto, Biwako’s blood ran cold. ‘What if that man kills Naruto just because he’s my f-friend?’ She thought, shivering a bit after she thought of that. ‘Should I stop being friends with him?’

    She knew it would devastate Naruto; she was his only and best friend. No… so this is what Iruka warned me about. ‘Run, run and cling to life pitifully’ like Itachi said? No. No! Fuck that. I am not a coward! I will figure out something else.

    The alternative was… to get strong enough to protect Naruto- no, that was an insult to him, and his resolve and talent. Then, to fight by his side as an equal; protect one another. There would be no dying for Naruto while she was around! There would be no easy win for Naruto in the spars between them, either; Uchiha Biwako does not lose, and I won’t let that monster take anything more from me !

    Rat, Tiger, Dog, Ox, Rabbit, Tiger! ‘Housenka no jutsu! ’ Biwako said in her mind, letting out a dense ball of Fire-natured Chakra, then another, which exploded when they met the lake.

    Then, she decided to try Goukakyuu no jutsu (Fireball jutsu) while thinking of how she’d protect Naruto from Itachi and fight by Naruto’s side. Hatred and protectiveness filled her in equal measures, and instead of a continuous flow, she breathed out a powerful ball which moved much faster than any of her Katon had before, fell into the lake, then exploded, making the lake shower her with hot water.

    She stayed in place, looking at the giant water shower… and yet the water didn’t quite reach her. ‘That was powerful!’ She thought, ‘that one old woman would have said I’ve been blessed by Amaterasu and Kagutsuchi.’

    Biwako heard a sigh and realized someone had a grip on her shirt. The grip let up, and she turned to see Naruto.

    Naruto said, “and you call me reckless. What was that!” Gesturing at the lake, an angry frown on his face.

    Biwako realized that Naruto had saved her and was speechless.

    Naruto’s expression changed, looking at her with concern. He said, “are you okay, Biwako?”

    Biwako shook the mix of emotions off and said, “I’m better off than I’ve been in months,” realizing that she meant it.

    Naruto looked confused, but he said, “all right. Just don’t do that again. Please,” seriously.

    Biwako said, “I’ll try, but no promises,” walking less carefully than before, almost skipping.

    Naruto said, “oi, Biwako, wait for me!”

    …It took Biwako three more days of testing the ways she released the Chakra to manage to get Housenka no jutsu to a satisfactory level of mastery, and one more, that one with clones, to improve it to where it was usable in a real battle, or at least an intense spar.

    -----

    It took Naruto over a month to go from sawdust to splinters to a functioning dummy, and another ten days to make an actual Wood Clone. Unfortunately, Biwako’s new jutsu, Housenka no jutsu, was a decent counter to Water Clones, Shadow Clones and Wood Clones; according to Biwako, her Fire Element in general had gotten even stronger recently – something he had seen for himself, too.

    Fortunately for him, his skill with Water ninjutsu had also gone up thanks to his Shadow Clones practicing it; he learned Wild Water Wave, a C-ranked Water ninjutsu which unleashed a waterfall-like wave from the user’s mouth to wash away their foes. Thanks to help from Iruka, his own improved Chakra Control and his Shadow Clones, it took him less than a week to learn it.

    So, they were back to winning and losing alternately. Naruto would have liked to have learned the Kirigakure no jutsu (Hiding in the Mist jutsu), but even the Uchiha hadn’t managed to copy everything.

    Biwako had taken to using Shadow Clones to train, too. After she once nearly fried herself, and injured her fingers on impact with a target when trying Lightning jutsu another time, she was much more careful with the Lightning element, mainly using clones for new things; she still had a small scar near her wrist, though thanks to Kabuto, her fingers had healed almost perfectly.

    …Naruto was a month or two before reaching nine years of age when Biwako came up to him with news.

    She said, “Naruto, the Hawks have found your relative. Tsunade is in Shiruku City right now, in the south of the Land of Fire.”

    “Yosh! So, how will we reach her? I hope you have a plan,” Naruto said, bouncing on his feet.

    “Of course I do,” Biwako said, looking somewhat offended. She then said, “Fuuinjutsu, the art of Sealing. The Hawks have taught me about the Summoning and Reverse Summoning jutsu, I have known the basics of Sealing since an early age thanks to my parents, so I made this,” showing him a temporary tattoo. She also said something about making a contract.

    “It goes this way: we use both our blood to apply the tattoo,” Biwako said, “then, we will be able to summon one another or send a distress signal by putting blood on the tattoo. So, where do you want yours?”

    Naruto was worried over what Iruka would say if he saw his tattoo, but he simply said ‘fuck it’ and told Biwako to put it on his left forearm. Biwako put her own on her right shoulder, and the two of them finalized the contract by cutting their palms -Naruto more deeply, because he healed fast- and putting blood on each other’s tattoo.

    “Let’s try it!” Naruto said, fired up.

    “Okay,” Biwako said, with just as much enthusiasm, even though it was mostly hidden under her poker face. “But first, we make sure the tattoos are invisible. Fortunately, I’ve managed to make enough progress in Sealing to be able to include that,” she said after that.

    She taught him the hand-seals to make it invisible, so that it only appeared when his blood was splashed on it. It also would alert the other, as soon as blood would fall on the tattoo and send them the other’s position. Naruto was just glad that Iruka wouldn’t see the tattoo; especially considering Biwako intended to make a permanent version when she was more confident in her Fuuinjutsu skills.

    “You learn quickly; as expected of my rival,” Biwako said, looking impressed, “have you ever considered learning Fuuinjutsu?”

    “It’s very useful; I never knew until now,” Naruto said, impressed, “but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There is no guarantee it even worked.”

    Biwako glared at him, offended. “Let’s just get on with it,” she said.

    She went to the other side of the small house and summoned him… three meters (ten feet) in the air, dropping him on his ass.

    “Ow ow ow! You little-!” Naruto said, a bit annoyed, especially now that he looked at Biwako’s smug smirk.

    Giving Biwako a glare that promised retribution, he bit his right hand’s thumb and smeared the blood onto the tattoo, running through the correct hand seals – pop ! Biwako appeared next to him, her feet sinking into a mud puddle made by Naruto’s Water ninjutsu earlier.

    “So, I think it’s safe to say it works,” Naruto said happily, ignoring Biwako’s glare, “but will it take more Chakra with more distance? It took a huge chunk of my reserves right now.”

    Biwako shook her head. She said, “it’s a Space-Time jutsu. It takes the same amount of Chakra at all distances and has no distance limit,” looking at Naruto as if it were obvious; and damn, it was obvious.

    Naruto was great at learning, but some things were taught ahead of time to clan children. Apparently, Biwako still had more Chakra than Naruto did, which was why the jutsu had taken a lot out of him.

    -----

    Biwako appeared just outside a particular town. The forest out there was lush and beautiful, and the trees were quite tall, though not especially thick. After admiring the scenery, she went through the motions to summon Naruto.

    (Poof!) Naruto appeared in smoke.

    Biwako dismissed Garuda, the granddaughter of the Hawk boss and Biwako’s personal summon. Her mind wandered to the first time she had met them.

    (Biwako was in the Uchiha district’s training ground, which was protected by seals to ensure privacy. Her reason was so that she could test the Summoning jutsu after signing the Hawk contract.

    It had taken quite a bit of research -read: spying on shinobi training; then asking Iruka when that had failed- on her part and Naruto’s to discover the hand-seals of the Summoning jutsu.

    She bit her thumb, drawing blood, and went through the sequence: Boar, Dog, Bird, Monkey, Ram. She said, “Kuchiyose no jutsu (Summoning Jutsu)!

    In a small cloud of smoke came… a large, colorful egg?! “What the crap is that!” Biwako said, breaking her calm facade.

    Naruto snickered a bit and said, “wow, I had expected that your first try would be at least a little bad, but this is an epic failure!”

    Biwako said, “if you have nothing important to say, stay silent,” annoyed by both the words and the snickering.

    “Okay, how about this?” Naruto said and suddenly turned serious. He then said, “keep the flow of Chakra stable, no sudden lowering or increasing of the- output. You should also put at least three times as much Chakra as you did this time into it.”

    Biwako calmed down at hearing that and decided to take the resident Chakra Sensor’s advice. She repeated her previous actions, this time putting over five times as much Chakra into the jutsu and keeping the output as even as she could.

    The jutsu resulted in a much larger cloud of smoke, in which a relatively small brown hawk appeared. It flapped its wings erratically a few times, looking disoriented, but it stabilized very quickly. It said, “who is the one that summoned me?”

    Naruto said, “wait! The bird talked!” Shocked, only to receive an identical deadpan ’idiot’ from both the Hawk and Biwako.

    Ignoring Naruto and his cloud of depression, Biwako looked the Hawk in the eye and said, “I think I’m going to like you. My name is Uchiha Biwako, and I’m the one who summoned you,” smirking.

    “Interesting,” the Hawk said, “my name is Garuda. Our last summoner was Uchiha Shisui; do you happen to be his direct descendant?”

    Biwako admitted she wasn’t. She also told Garuda of the Uchiha Clan Downfall, and how Shisui had died a year or two before it, without ever having children.

    “Shit,” Garuda said, “Grandmother needs to hear about this,” and disappeared in another cloud of smoke.

    Naruto snickered again and said, “your summon just ditched you. By the way, did you have to not tell me that summoned creatures talked?”

    “Yes, I did. And yes, it did ditch me,” Biwako said, an eyebrow twitching. Then she said, “by the way, Summons can Reverse Summon their contractor, so there’s a chance that-”

    After a brief bout of nausea, Biwako found herself on a huge plain. She looked around, seeing mist not far above her. She activated her Sharingan, and realized she was seeing the clouds, not mist. ‘A plateau!’ She thought, and indeed, she could make out the actual ground far away, indicating that she was at the highest point of said plateau.

    “Uchiha Biwako,” a booming voice said.

    Biwako instantly turned around, making her neck ache. She saw the largest bird she had ever encountered -by far- in front of her, the Sharingan seeing every detail. Its upper parts were black, whereas its belly and tail was dark grey and the rest of it was very light grey, with light red markings around intelligent red eyes.

    Biwako said, “are you the boss summon?” Not lowering her guard, refusing to admit to being startled.

    “Indeed I am,” the gigantic bird said, “my name is Takamichi, boss of the Hawk contract. I am also Garuda’s grandmother. She apparently took an immediate shine to you; it remains to be seen whether the rest of us will be as impressed, of course.”

    Biwako bowed moderately deeply, as if addressing an equal and said, “it’s an honor to meet you, Takamichi-san.” Immediately, Biwako could see that the Hawk boss was displeased, but she refused to be cowed and maintained eye contact, not even deactivating her Sharingan.

    Takamichi now looked… pleased? She said, “impressive. You are not easy to intimidate, and are a proud bird- I mean person. Even a boss summon’s ire is not enough to make you bow down.”

    ‘How did she manage to fool me with the Sharingan on when she pretended to be annoyed at me?’ Biwako thought, incredulous, her respect for Takamichi increasing. Out loud, she said, “so, glaring at me was a test?”

    “Indeed it was,” Takamichi said, “Uchiha Biwako, we of the Hawk Clan are very long-lived even for summons. I once met Uchiha Madara personally, when I was but a youngling, and my summoner and I had the privilege to participate in a hunt with him. You remind me of him the most. I truly hope that you won’t take after his worst points, though.”

    That sounded ominous. Still, Biwako nodded at Takamichi and said, “anything else I should know?”

    “Only this,” Takamichi said, “at most, two contracts of animal clans are possible for a person. However, you will have to get approval from me and the Hawk Council first for such a thing; on the other hand, contracts with other humans do not interfere.”

    “I see,” Biwako said after thinking it over, “what about training? I don’t have a teacher right now.”

    Takamichi said, “when you are able to summon me, we will speak of that; until then, only basic training will be available; what is your primary element?”

    “Lightning, I think,” Biwako said, hiding her rising mental fatigue expertly.

    “My own element,” Takamichi said, “impress me and I will take over your elemental training myself.”

    “Understood. Am I dismissed now?” Biwako said evenly.

    Takamichi said, “by all means,” this time sounding amused.

    When Biwako realized she didn’t know how to end the summoning, she simply decided to reason it out on her own. First, she tried to feel out her connection with the Hawks. Then, when that failed, she tried to find the connection her Chakra network had to her previous position.

    The last thing she saw before disappearing from the land of the Hawks was Takamichi’s incredulous expression.)

    “Is something wrong?”

    Biwako was startled out of her daydreams by Naruto’s voice. She said, “nothing, just thinking.”

    Naruto didn’t reply. The two of them were following what must be Tsunade’s Chakra thanks to Naruto’s sensory capabilities. His range was a bit less than four hundred meters at most -less than a quarter of a mile- but his skill was great and precise enough that he could follow very small traces of the Chakra that had been left around the city. Strange, though, that someone so skilled would leave obvious enough trails to follow, or so Biwako thought.

    She was able to put a scent to the trail, and it was full of… alcohol…? She decided to let Naruto do all the work unless her help became necessary. If Tsunade was drunk, though, it would explain why she was so easy for Naruto to sense.

    “She’s with another kunoichi and an animal… in that bar?” Naruto said, uncertainty clouding his tone.

    “What is one of the Sannin doing in a seedy place like this?” Biwako said, just as bemused.

    They entered the seedy watering hole without bothering to put up a Transformation; such a thing would only put Tsunade on guard. The customers there looked at them, but immediately forgot about them; nobody tried to escort them out, either. It made Biwako wonder.

    The two of them walked up to the young-looking blonde and the brunet woman with a pig in her arms.

    Biwako said, “are you sure this is your relative? She looks a bit too young to be her.”

    “I don’t understand it either,” Naruto said. “Oi, are you Tsunade?” He said with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer.

    Biwako wanted to roll her eyes and face-palm at his bluntness, but she controlled herself.

    The blonde was visibly drunk. She said, “I am. Who’s asking, brats?” Slurring only a little despite her condition.

    Biwako introduced herself, then Naruto did so for himself.

    “My name is Naruto, and I think we’re related,” Naruto said.

    Tsunade blinked. Then, she sobered up all of a sudden. She said, “what made you reach that conclusion?” Very seriously.

    Biwako intervened, saying, “we’re better off taking this outside, where people can’t see us.”

    Tsunade narrowed her eyes and said, “very well.”

    The brunette whispered something in the blonde’s ears, but Tsunade shook her head, saying something in turn. The four of them, plus pig, walked into the forest outside the town. Biwako could tell that the two adults had their senses peeled, likely for a potential ambush.

    On an unseen signal, all of them stopped walking. Naruto said, “wait. I’ll check for eavesdroppers,” making a one-handed hand-seal and Biwako realized he was using his Chakra sensor skill.

    She also discreetly scanned around with her Sharingan.

    That put the two adult women even more on guard, but they relaxed when nothing came of Naruto’s and Biwako’s gesture.

    The blond woman said, “okay, we’re far enough here. What was such a secret that you had to use all those precautions?”

    Naruto said, “you’ll see in a moment. Mokuton: Moku Bunshin no jutsu (Wood Style: Wood Clone jutsu)!” Going through a few hand-seals. It took a few seconds, but the clones formed.

    Both women entered a taijutsu stance but the results of the jutsu, two clones made of wood, made their jaws drop. Tsunade recovered first and said, “don’t be absurd, brat. That level of power and Mokuton is nothing compared to my grandfather. I’ll bet you’re just another experiment of Orochimaru’s,” scoffing dismissively.

    “Tsunade-sama!” The brunette said, admonishing the older woman.

    “So, you won’t even check?” Naruto said in disappointment, and Biwako could see the warning signs of Naruto losing it.

    She decided to keep her mouth shut for the time being, but glared at Tsunade.

    Tsunade said, “of course not. I can tell you believe what you said, but you’re sorely mistaken. I never had children and never will. Besides, even if you are related to me, you’re better off without me,” whispering the last part.

    Naruto’s hands were fists. He said, “I understand,” whispering too. Then, he left them to run off alone further in the forest.

    Biwako was utterly and absolutely furious. She looked Tsunade in the eye and hissed, “if he gets seriously hurt because of you, you are dead, Sannin or not,” and went after him.

    She knew that Tsunade and Shizune followed behind her, but paid them no heed. The three of them -plus pig- reached a truly large clearing, only to see Naruto shatter several boulders and knock down trees with his bare hands, on the other side of the clearing.

    Shizune let out a gasp, and Tsunade simply stood there. Biwako decided to wait, to only intervene if Naruto was about to seriously hurt himself. She could see the Chakra that covered his arms every time he punched clearly, and could predict his moves a split-second in advance.

    -----

    “Damn it, damn it, damn it!” Naruto shouted, tears and snot running down his face.

    He felled boulder after boulder after tree, but his raging emotions only became stronger; frustration, sadness, anger, the pain of rejection. He could tell the three females were there, and them seeing him cry only made him feel worse.

    Eventually, green-colored Chakra was visible even to Naruto, and covered his entire body rather than his arms, without him being able to fully control it. “This is-,” he said, letting his instincts guide him, “Mokuton – Call of Nature.”

    His Chakra spread through the clearing and nature responded to his call. He channeled all of his emotions into his Chakra, including his regret at how much destruction he had caused, trying to mimic the size and species of the trees around him, and the result was incredible.

    The clearing, over a hundred meters in length and almost half as much in width was now packed with trees, and even beyond it, the forest was also more dense, from what Naruto could feel… somehow; it was not his usual sensory. The destroyed trees had also been restored.

    Naruto could only admire his handiwork, almost disbelieving. ‘I did all this…? Unbelievable. This is what it means to awaken a Bloodline? Biwako was right…,’ he thought.

    Then, he swayed in place, and the analytical part of his mind noted that he was going through serious Chakra exhaustion before everything disappeared from his sight.

    -----

    Shizune was examining Naruto, all the while Biwako was worried to the point of chewing her nails, sparing a dirty look at an oblivious Tsunade every once in a while.

    “He needs an infusion of Chakra, or the consequences will be severe,” the woman concluded.

    “Then, what are you waiting for?” Biwako said, fuming, barely controlling her temper.

    “Unfortunately, I cannot do the Chakra Transfer technique well enough for such a delicate case. Only Tsunade-sama has mastered it to the required degree, of all of us here,” Shizune said, still looking at Naruto.

    In the meantime, Tsunade was staring at Naruto’s bloody knuckles and palms, as if in a trance….
     
    moon so bright, Rikallyn and Ellessar like this.
  10. Threadmarks: Story3
    AoMythology

    AoMythology Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2018
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    319
    Shizune was examining Naruto, all the while Biwako was worried to the point of chewing her nails, sparing a dirty look at an oblivious Tsunade every once in a while.

    “He needs an infusion of Chakra, or the consequences will be severe,” the woman concluded.

    “Then, what are you waiting for?” Biwako said, fuming, barely controlling her temper.

    “Unfortunately, I cannot do the Chakra Transfer technique well enough for such a delicate case. Only Tsunade-sama has mastered it to the required degree, of all of us here,” Shizune said, still looking at Naruto.

    In the meantime, Tsunade was staring at Naruto’s bloody knuckles and palms, as if in a trance….

    -----

    “What’s wrong with her?” Biwako asked Shizune, fuming, almost ready to kill.

    “She has hemophobia,” Shizune explained.

    “What…? Isn’t that-? The greatest medic-nin in the world has a fear of blood? Are you trying to make a joke?!” Biwako snapped at her in disbelief.

    “Do not take that tone with me, Biwako-san,” Shizune said, scolding her in a motherly way, “and yes, it’s something that has to do with her past, something that would take too long to explain.”

    “Got it,” Biwako said, expression set in stone. Then, she punched Tsunade in the ear and said, “oi, snap out of it!”

    Both Tsunade and Shizune gasped, the latter likely in outrage.

    Biwako shouted, “this is your only relative who’s suffering here! Wake up and heal him, you wimp!”

    Tsunade blinked repeatedly, as if waking up from a trance. Her gaze focused eventually, seeing Naruto’s prone body held in Shizune’s arms. She looked at his blood again, shaking a bit, but this time, she remained relatively calm. She said, “Shizune, report,” her voice not betraying any distress she felt.

    “He got severe Chakra exhaustion, Tsunade-sama, after awakening -or partially awakening- his bloodline,” Shizune said, her tone professional.

    Biwako was pacing in impatience and worry, and yet, she said nothing.

    Tsunade examined Naruto herself, possibly confirming what her apprentice had told her. Then, she started glowing yellow, making Naruto glow the same color, then green. So that’s the Chakra Transfer technique.

    Biwako could tell that Naruto was breathing more easily after that, and sighed in relief. She turned to Tsunade, who was studying her. The woman said, “now, what to do with you? I have to somehow repay you for punching me in the ear and your earlier threats," her expression unreadable to Biwako.

    Biwako’s mouth moved on its own and said, “I regret nothing!” Smirking smugly, despite herself. When she realized what she had just said, she braced for a hit.

    Tsunade smirked too. She said, “good answer,” flicking Biwako’s forehead with one finger, sending her tumbling, which Biwako managed to see coming- too late.

    Biwako managed to land on her feet, sideways on the trunk of a tree, sticking to it using her Chakra with great difficulty in her pain and disorientation. “I kind of deserved that,” she admitted in a bland tone which said she still didn’t regret her earlier behavior, hiding the pain she was still feeling as well as she could.

    “That’s the spirit, Uchiha brat,” Tsunade said, her lips twitching upwards, “by the way, your Sharingan now has two tomoe in each eye. Congratulations.”

    “Huh? Oh, right,” Biwako said, a bit absentmindedly. She took out the hand mirror she carried everywhere and reactivated her Sharingan, seeing two comma marks in each of her eyes. “So, when will Naruto get up and what is his condition?” She said, the tension in her body skyrocketing again.

    “The usual is six to seven days of unconsciousness for this level of Chakra exhaustion, walking again at nine to eleven days and over three weeks to actively use one’s Chakra again without risk of permanent damage,” Tsunade said, expression unreadable, “there should be no permanent damage as long as the boy does not overdo it.”

    Biwako let out a sigh of relief. She said, “that’s a relief. Though, with Naruto’s rate of healing, it shouldn’t take more than a week until he’s back to using ninjutsu safely.”

    “A healing factor?” Tsunade said, looking more interested, “care to share?”

    “His arm had broken in two places. According to the medic-nin at the hospital, it should have taken three weeks or so to fully heal for a ninja without medical ninjutsu, but it took him less than twenty-four hours – less than an hour according to Naruto himself,” Biwako said, not seeing a reason to keep that information from Naruto’s relative, who was also the medic-nin taking care of him.

    “Interesting,” Tsunade said, “just like Grandpa,” whispering, seemingly forgetting that Biwako was even there in her study of Naruto.

    Biwako told the woman about Naruto being an orphan and having no mother figure as far as she knew. Biwako could tell that Tsunade could see through her, but that didn’t necessarily mean her words weren’t working.

    -----

    Naruto felt as if he had been stepped on by a boss-sized summon; that was his first thought as he woke up, followed by ‘where am I?’

    “Naruto-kun,” a somewhat familiar feminine voice said, “stay put, please. You went through quite the ordeal, and need your rest.”

    Naruto moved his limbs around a bit. Satisfied that he wasn’t in enemy hands, for lack of being bound, he let himself be lulled to sleep.

    …Naruto got up groggily. He felt as if pressure were being applied to all of his body, much like how training weights were supposed to be, only worse. ‘Wait,’ he thought to himself, ‘there’s an idea. Is it possible to make a seal that puts pressure on all of the body? it should be great for training.’

    “Rise and shine!” Tsunade exclaimed, interrupting Naruto’s train of thought.

    Naruto sat up with some help from who he soon recognized as Tsunade’s apprentice. His eyes met Tsunade’s, and he flinched.

    The blond woman cleared her throat and said, “it appears we got off on the wrong foot, kid. Let’s try this again. I’m Tsunade, of the Legendary Sannin.”

    Naruto signaled for water, which Shizune was quick to provide. After he drank a bit, he said, “nice to meet you. I’m Uzumaki Naruto, possibly Senju Naruto. Please take care of me.” Then, a yawn he couldn’t hold back interrupted him.

    “I have to say,” Tsunade said, “I’m impressed at how quickly you recovered. It’s only been twenty hours or so; I would have expected you to be out for a week.”

    Naruto stretched a bit, and decided to try to get up. The brunette, who introduced herself as Shizune, advised against it. On the other hand, Tsunade said nothing. She was simply looking at him with keen eyes.

    He put a foot on the floor with difficulty, then the other. He was handed a walking stick, which he used as a literal crutch, to great effect; he only stumbled a little bit. Left foot, right foot, left again- shit!

    The blond boy nearly went tumbling, only for someone with a familiar scent to catch him.

    Biwako, the one who had caught him, said, “idiot; you are forcing me to pick up the slack. You’re reckless as ever.”

    “Thanks, Biwako,” Naruto said, relaxing without even meaning to.

    “Anytime,” the black-haired girl said calmly, her arms still around him.

    Naruto managed to get to a chair with Biwako’s help and sat heavily, making the chair creak.

    After a few minutes of Naruto catching his breath, he said, “so, how long was I out?” Stretching again.

    “Twenty hours; didn’t you hear Tsunade earlier?” Biwako replied, a bit mockingly.

    Naruto was surprised by the fact that Biwako wasn’t polite enough to use honorifics, even towards Tsunade. He knew that his friend almost never used them, but he had thought her sense of self-preservation would keep her from disrespecting someone so powerful. Not that he was one to talk.

    “Hey, Naruto – is something wrong?” Biwako asked softly, worry in her tone.

    Naruto was snapped out of his daydreams. He said, “I’m fine; just thinking.”

    “I hope you didn’t burn out your brain,” Biwako said teasingly.

    “Very funny,” Naruto shot back, but wasn’t able to say something smart himself; he couldn’t focus.

    A few minutes passed in silence, then Tsunade spoke up. She said, “time for your exam; we’ll see how well you are recovering, and if there is risk of permanent damage to your coils and the rest of your body.”

    She touched Naruto’s bare arm, hands glowing, and started letting out ‘hmm’ sounds.

    Naruto started panicking; he said, “wait, there’s a chance of permanent damage? Why?!”

    “Did you think that awakening a bloodline is an easy process?” Tsunade said, her voice stern, “most of the Uchiha clan couldn’t use the Sharingan, but it wasn’t necessarily for lack of the potential to awaken it. Some of them simply damaged the coils in their head enough when they awoke it that they couldn’t use it anymore. I once faced a Yuki clan member in the Second Shinobi World War who couldn’t expel Chakra out of his right arm; it’s likely, though not certain, that the awakening of his Hyouton had been the reason. He was still a real bitch to fight, though,” devolving into a rant about ‘fucking one-handed hand-seals’ and ‘damn annoying pretty boys’.

    “Tsunade-sama! Language! Not in front of the children, at least!” Shizune said, shaking the poor pig back and forth.

    Tsunade snorted, but didn’t press the issue.

    “WAIT! What about my body? Is there permanent damage!?” Naruto shouted out, impatient.

    “Don’t shout in my ear, damn it!” Tsunade said, almost equally as loud, making Naruto's ears hurt. Then, she said, “there’s no chance for permanent damage. Even if you were to train today -and this is not permission to do that; my orders as a medic-nin is that you wait until tomorrow evening at the very least- you would still be fine in the long term, though you’d still set back your recovery by doing something so stupid. In fact, your Chakra and coils are recovering at an increasing rate; either now that you partially awakened your bloodline your regeneration is faster, or the Chakra exhaustion slowed down your recovery. My money would be on a combination of both.”

    “Aren’t you notoriously bad at gambling, though?” Biwako said snarkily.

    Naruto used sign language to tell Biwako to ‘stop poking the tiger, idiot’, feeling much better already, but the girl ignored him.

    “Oh, by the way,” Tsunade said casually, “when would you like to give your blood for a test? I’ve already determined that you’re a real Senju by scanning your Chakra, but I’d much rather do a proper DNA test.”

    “Is it possible right now? I feel better already,” Naruto said, getting up from the chair, stretching to get the kinks out of his limbs and back.

    “I’d rather wait at least an hour; Shizune healed your cuts and broken knuckles immediately, so you didn’t lose much blood, but your body is already stressed. Let me scan you again, though – I’ll judge how long you need for recovery,” Tsunade said.

    She put her glowing hands on his arm again, and said, “your regeneration is still speeding up – I think that using medical ninjutsu of any kind, including diagnostic jutsu, on you improves it.”

    “Really?” Naruto said, “what would happen if I learned medical ninjutsu?” A bit excited.

    “Well,” Tsunade said, “that does explain how my grandpa healed himself without using hand-seals. He simply had to use a diagnostic jutsu on himself without seals, and bam! Instant super regeneration!” Smirking lightly, not answering the question.

    “Wow! Hashirama-sama was incredible!” Naruto said, still excited.

    Tsunade said, “I suppose so,” her expression strange.

    Naruto couldn’t understand the mix of emotions, but he studied his relative’s expression. His analysis was broken by Tsunade speaking.

    The woman said, “you wouldn’t happen to want to become Hokage, would you?” Narrowing her eyes.

    “No,” Naruto said seriously, “the only thing I care about right now is keeping my loved ones safe, though Iruka-sensei and Biwako are the only ones on that list right now. I also don’t want to fall behind her in the ninja arts."

    He kept the fact that he used to crave acknowledgement -and still did- to himself. That was something only Biwako -and probably Iruka-sensei- knew. The same with his desire to leave Konoha behind, but Iruka-sensei probably didn’t realize that.

    “I see,” Tsunade said in a neutral tone, “keeping your loved ones safe, huh? Keeping up with your friend in the ninja arts? Well, not a bad goal to have, either of those.”

    Naruto remained silent; he could tell Tsunade wanted to say more.

    As if coming to a decision, Tsunade nodded to herself. She said, “Naruto, how would you like to learn medical ninjutsu -the ninja arts in general- from me?”

    “Li- like master and apprentice?” Naruto asked, stuttering a bit.

    “Exactly that,” Tsunade said, a hint of a smile on her face, “so how about it? Want to be my second apprentice?”

    Naruto stuttered over his reply even more, but he managed to say yes… somehow. His eyes fell on Shizune, and the woman seemed elated, no hint of jealousy -or was it called envy?- at all. He could tell that she cared about her master a lot.

    Naruto said, “you should smile more, Shizune-san. It makes you look so much more cute and beautiful,” not knowing why those words had come out out loud.

    “Well, aren’t you a little charmer,” Shizune said with a grin and a light blush and ruffled Naruto’s hair, making him blush too for some reason.

    “Hmph,” Biwako said, “congratulations, you womanizer,” a teasing tone along with something else in her voice.

    Naruto turned to his best friend and said, “thanks Biwako, but what’s a womanizer?”

    Biwako turned away, failing to hide a small smile, and said, “never mind – I’ll tell you when you’re older.”

    “We’re almost the same age!” Naruto said, slightly annoyed by Biwako’s words.

    Biwako stuck out her tongue at him.

    “As entertaining as this is,” Tsunade said, “shall we get on with the blood exam?”

    Naruto blinked. Then, he paled, saying, “okay, but will I have to be pierced with a needle?”

    Tsunade rolled her eyes and said, “aren’t you a little too old to be afraid of needles?”

    “You’re never too old to be afraid of needles!” Naruto declared, smirking despite himself, “heck, I know a woman over forty who’s afraid of seeing blood spilled.”

    “Naruto,” Tsunade said, “shut up and take it like a man!” Glaring daggers at him.

    Naruto wisely shut up; he could see Tsunade’s clenched fist, and knew he was close to being pummeled by someone who was known as the physically strongest human alive.

    “Your bedside manner needs some work,” Biwako commented dryly.

    Tsunade didn’t rise to the bait. She said, “if you ever become the most skilled medic-nin in the world, then you can criticize my bedside manner,” calm once again.

    After a bit of resistance from Naruto, Tsunade took some blood from his left forearm and put it in a vial. She took some blood from herself too, put it in another vial, labeled them both, shook them around a bit and put them on the dresser.

    Then, she went through a sequence of hand-seals and touched both the vials at the same time, frowning at something and biting her lip.

    “Is something wrong?” Naruto asked, slightly worried.

    Tsunade shook her head. She said, “I’m surprised, that’s all. It seems you are my grandnephew, but Na- Nawaki die- was too young to have been a father at all. So, it must have been Zairuji who was your grandfather.”

    “Who was Zairuji, Tsunade-sama?” Shizune asked softly.

    “He was my older brother. We weren’t very close; in fact, the only one of the family he was close to was Mito-baasama, our grandmother. He had been a wild child and a womanizer, and he fought a lot with Grandpa and our parents since early on – though with Grandpa, it might have been because of their similarities that they clashed,” Tsunade said, a fond smile on her face, “what I don’t understand is why he would go and get a random girl pregnant; womanizer or not, after he fell in love, he was very loyal to his lover, Namikaze… Reera*- oh, shit.”

    Womanizer – that word again. Naruto looked at Tsunade, not realizing why she had stopped and cursed. Then, reality set in: there was only one Namikaze line in Konoha, as everyone knew. He said, “wait, the Yondaime was my father? What about my classmate, Namikaze Mito?” Unknown word forgotten.

    “There’s another Namikaze in Konoha? Oh, it must have been the goddaughter my idiot teammate was talking about with so much pride – I didn’t pay much attention,” Tsunade said, blushing a bit. “What does she look like?” She then said, serious again.

    Naruto thought it over a bit. He said, “well, strawberry blond hair, eyes that are dark blue with a hint of green -the only others I know with that color are the Yondaime and me- and whisker marks like mine, only more thick… oh, shit. Shit, shit, shit!” Shouting in the end and clenching the nearest object in his fist, which happened to be a blunt kunai Biwako handed him.

    The kunai bent under the force of his emotions, making an ominous creaking sound. He whispered, “I always blew her off when she tried to talk to me. Damn it! How didn’t I notice the similarities!? I don’t blame Mito – my own whisker marks are much harder to see. If I didn’t get the whisker marks from having a Bijuu in my gut, where did we both get them, though?”

    Tsunade cleared her throat. She said, “I may be able to shed light on that.”

    “Wait, you know where my whisker marks came from?” Naruto said, incredulous.

    “Yes,” Tsunade said, nodding, “your mother, Uzumaki Kushina, was the container of the Kyuubi after my grandmother; my father had whisker marks just like yours.”

    “So, what does that mean?” Naruto asked, a bit confused, still unable to think clearly, not having fully recovered from his exhaustion.

    “It means that if one is exposed to the Kyuubi’s Chakra in serious amounts before they’re born, they get those whisker marks. The same happens if they’re ‘reborn’ by eating its flesh, thus absorbing some Chakra from it permanently, like a pair of brothers from Kumo,” Tsunade explained patiently.

    “Oh, I got it now. Who were those guys from Kumo, though?” Naruto asked.

    “Their names were Kinkaku and Ginkaku,” Tsunade said absently, “but that’s a story for another time.”

    “By the way, Naruto,” Biwako said, her smirk worrying Naruto, “did you really have to call your jutsu ‘Call of Nature’? It sounds like it does the same as the Inuzuka dog partners’ ‘Dynamic Marking’.”

    They had discovered the notes on various clans that the Uchiha had had on other clans, Konoha and outside. The notes on Konoha’s clans in the Jounin and Chuunin section of the library were surprisingly thorough and complete, and had been updated very recently.

    “Oi,” Naruto said, carefully not pouting, “it was instinctive!”

    “Do you mean that you instinctively called it that, or that you pissed yourself without realizing?” Biwako said, that damn smirk on her face.

    “Come on, Biwako! Your naming sense isn’t much better – I mean, you named a jutsu ‘Lightning Style: Thunderbolt’. What is it, a Pocket Monsters move?” Naruto said teasingly.

    Biwako scowled and said, “it’s a perfectly viable name! ‘Thunderbolt’ sounds badass! Too many manga will rot your brain, Naruto!”

    “Oh, come on, live a little! You have one hobby that isn’t ninja training, and all it is is taking strolls around Konoha!” Naruto said, getting a bit more serious. “Oh, wait, did you just say ‘badass’?” He then said, less serious again, blinking a bit in surprise.

    Biwako slapped her own forehead and said, “only you could change from joking to serious to joking again so quickly, you idiot.”

    “Oi, I’m not an idiot, you jerk ‘ttebayo!” Naruto said, hating being called an idiot.

    “You so are, you whisker-face!” Biwako said, losing seriousness fast.

    “You look like a pretty-boy,” Naruto said, realizing his mistake as soon as he said it.

    “What did you just say?!” Biwako hissed out, glaring at him horribly.

    ‘In for a Ryo, in for a fifty note,’ Naruto thought. Out loud, he said, “I said you sound like the tsundere love interest of the main protagonist from one of the manga I’ve read.”

    Biwako’s eyes opened comically wide, like she couldn’t believe what she heard. Then, they narrowed, but a smirk started showing on her face. She said, “if I’m the thundere love interest, then are you the main protagonist?”

    “Uh, what…?” Naruto said, shell-shocked.

    Biwako patted him on the head, a mocking smirk still on her face, and sat down in seiza, closing her eyes without dropping the smirk.

    Naruto could hear Tsunade’s snickers very clearly. He turned and glared at the woman, but she completely ignored him.

    Shizune looked just as shocked as Naruto felt earlier, then a smile bloomed on her face. She said, “Naruto-kun, how many years have you two been married?”

    Naruto groaned. He said, “oi, not you too, Shizune-san! We’re nine years old – is that something you say to a kid? I'm definitely not ready for marriage!”

    Tsunade, in the meanwhile, was still snickering. She stopped for a moment, only to say, “Shizune’s got a point there. Snrk- bwahahahaha!” Laughing like a pig- no. Even Tonton sounded less pig-like.

    Naruto was not amused, and showed it by carefully NOT pouting.

    After Tsunade stopped snickering, she went to work again, saying, “so, Uchiha brat-”

    “It’s Biwako,” Biwako said, dropping her previous smirk.

    “Whatever,” Tsunade said grumpily, “have you had a check-up? Naruto was healthy, but I don’t know about you.”

    Biwako said, “all Academy students have gone through check-ups,” frowning lightly.

    “Yes,” Tsunade said, “but have they been examined by me?” Full of confidence, or maybe arrogance.

    Biwako put up a bit more resistance, but in the end, she gave in and let Tsunade examine her.

    Tsunade put a glowing hand on Biwako’s arm. After a few seconds of that, Tsunade lifted her head to look at Biwako, saying, “what the hell, Biwako! Why are there traces of a possible S-ranked Genjutsu in your head!”

    Naruto saw Biwako freeze, which was a rare sight. She said, “wait – it wasn’t wiped fully?” Shivering.

    Tsunade looked at Biwako strangely, then said, “apart from that, you have minor nerve damage in the wrist area of your right hand and in some of the fingers of your left, along with a little bit of lingering damage to your finger joints. Do you want those things healed?”

    Biwako hadn’t said yes faster in her life, Naruto thought. She sat very still, too.

    Tsunade did a few hand-seals, put her glowing hands on Biwako’s head and after a few minutes, said, “it is done. I recommend that you not use your Sharingan -or any Chakra around your head- for a few days. Make sure you aren’t put under any genjutsu for any reason for those days, too. I will put you under my personal surveillance if I have to.”

    “Thank you,” Biwako said, and she seemed to be more at ease than ever, “what about my wrist and fingers? Is healing nerve damage even possible?”

    “Impatient brat,” Tsunade said, her smirk showing she wasn’t angry. “I’ll get to that now. Healing nerve damage is not possible for medic-nins… other than me, of course. Strength of a Hundred Seal, Release. Creation Rebirth – Strength of a Hundred,” she then said, making a Ram and a Tiger Seal.

    Tsunade started glowing slightly. Strange markings spread on her face, then the rest of her body, and she touched Biwako. For a few seconds, the same markings were on the young girl. Then, they disappeared, and Biwako twisted her hands around and clenched her fingers, an expression of wonder on her face.

    Naruto sensed for the Chakra that Tsunade was using, and what he could tell was that it was all her own Chakra because of the same yellow ‘color’, but in her forehead was a store of energy that was probably much greater in quantity than Tsunade could make on her own. What had she done? Had she stored her own Chakra or something?

    The markings were no longer there, only the diamond-like seal(?). The store of Chakra in her forehead was no longer possible to sense, and Tsunade was breathing hard. Shizune helped the woman stay on her feet.

    Tsunade said, “I really am out of practice. Though this is the first time I’ve used this jutsu, I don’t think it was supposed to tire me out this much – I didn’t even use a thirtieth of the Chakra stored in there,” an expression of annoyance on her face.

    “Wait… you used an untested jutsu on me?” Biwako said, one eyebrow twitching.

    Tsunade waved Biwako off, saying, “I was certain of what it does, but I haven’t had the opportunity to use it. The time I invented it was shortly before I left Konoha.(*2)”

    “Hmph. Whatever,” Biwako said, turning away.

    It made Naruto worry, too. He said to Tsunade, “there won’t be any problems with Biwako because of the jutsu, right?”

    “Extremely unlikely, but I will monitor her if it will put your minds at ease,” Tsunade said, her expression still even.

    “Wait,” Shizune said, “what about the Academy? You two are students there, right? Or have you already graduated?”

    Tsunade clicked her fingers, saying, “I knew I was forgetting something! Does either of you have a guardian that you have to contact? It’s not a good idea to go to the Academy or missions, as the Uchiha brat -Biwako- has to rest for a few days, and Naruto needs his rest too."

    Naruto looked at Biwako. She looked back.

    After a bit of non-verbal communication, Biwako said, “I will ask a messenger Hawk to take a message from each of us to Iruka-sensei. Maybe we will say that we are sick, or something like that.”

    Naruto nodded, but then something occurred to him. He said, “Tsunade… san. You said something earlier about my Wood Style partially activating. What did you mean?”

    Tsunade didn’t answer for a few seconds. Then, she said, “call me Tsunade-sensei, or Tsunade-shishou(*3), Naruto. As for the activation of your bloodline, it means that you didn’t have enough Chakra to activate the full Wood Style -or maybe not a strong enough body- yet, so, while it started activating, it didn’t finish the process. Thus, you got Chakra exhaustion and didn’t get the Wood Style at its full potential.

    »So, it will likely not be anywhere as efficient Chakra-wise as it’s supposed to be, and some abilities may remain out of your reach. Not to mention the fact that your healing factor might become even greater when you awaken your Wood Style fully.”

    Naruto digested that for a few moments. Then, he said, “wait, that wasn’t even Mokuton’s full power!?” Shouting without meaning to.

    “It wasn’t – trust me on that,” Tsunade said, smirking, “Grandpa could make his Wood Clones so quickly that only Madara was able to see him substitute himself with one, and made a training ground with a radius of a bit over ten kilometers practically from scratch in only a few hours. Three hundred and twenty-six square kilometers – do you know how large that is?”

    “How large was the space I covered with trees?” Naruto asked, truly curious.

    Tsunade smirked and said, “including the trees beyond the clearing, about fifty times less than ONE square kilometer; without them, one hundred and seventy times or so less than a square kilometer. Don’t be discouraged, though – some people’s Chakra reserves grow exponentially, and your Wood Style will probably get a lot less Chakra intensive when you fully activate it, too.

    »According to my father, who was told by Grandpa himself, Grandpa didn’t have his enormous reserves from the beginning; now that you are going to be my apprentice, I will make sure that you improve in everything.”

    Tsunade’s smirk turned sadistic, making Naruto shiver. Still, he had more questions. He said, “d- do you think that I have a Bijuu sealed in me, Tsunade-sensei? It’s the theory Biwako and I have for why I’m hated in Konoha,” a bit scared that his aunt would abandon him.

    Tsunade’s hands glowed a bit again, and she put one on Naruto’s arm, then slipped it under his shirt. She looked puzzled, but she said, “I can’t detect anything like that. Of course, it’s possible, even likely, that your father sealed it in so tight that it will take years for you to use its Chakra. After all, he did split it in half using the Shinigami, according to Jiraiya when he was drinking his sorrows.

    »My advice is not to worry about it except when you are improving your Chakra Control. I do have a few of the exercises that Grandmother and Kushina used to keep the Nine-tails from affecting their Chakra Control as much.”

    “Thank you, Tsunade-sensei!” Naruto said, bowing in respect, happy that he had a relative teach him.

    He saw Iruka as a father figure or maybe an older brother, but it was different with Tsunade.

    -----

    Naruto was standing in a clearing with Tsunade, just like the day before the last; this time, Shizune and Biwako were standing further ahead, though they were still well within sensing distance.

    “Now that you are well-rested,” Tsunade said, a scary smile on her face, “it is time to see what you can do, Naruto. Then, it’s tortraining for you.”

    “Tortraining?” Naruto asked, starting to have second thoughts about the whole thing. “Is it too late to change my mi-”

    “Shut up and show me what you can do. Now, what jutsu do you know?” Tsunade barked out.

    Naruto showed Tsunade his seal-less Kawarimi (Substitution / Body Replacement).

    Then, the Transformation and the Clone jutsu with only one hand-seal each, the Shadow Clone, which had one seal to begin with; the Water Clone, which Naruto could use with only a Tiger seal; the Wood Clone, which, after the activation of his bloodline, he could use with only two hand-seals rather than three; Water Style: Wild Water Wave, which he had gotten down with only three hand seals rather than four(*4) and Wind Style: Thrust, which still took three hand-seals: Dog, Rabbit and Bird.

    Tsunade’s eyes had narrowed, and that worried Naruto. She said, “are you able to extract the water from a leaf?”

    Naruto took a leaf in his hand and did just that; all the while, Tsunade was watching with keen eyes.

    “It’s as I feared. You have neglected some of the basics in favor of learning more things. Are you able to cut a leaf too?” Tsunade said, her voice even.

    Naruto cut a leaf, then covered another in dirt.

    Tsunade examined them. Then, she said, “it took too long for you to cut the leaf; same with the Earth Style and the Water Style exercise. There are also jagged edges in the cut, though they are much more minor than I’d expect; Shizune is the expert on Wind Style though, not me, so we’ll leave that for later. Now, start jogging around the clearing.”

    “For how long?” Naruto asked.

    “Just do it. I will tell you when to stop,” Tsunade said, and Naruto started jogging.

    Naruto was getting tired after nearly an hour of jogging around the clearing, so he started slowing down.

    OUCH!

    Something, and Naruto thought it was a rock, had hit him in the ass-cheek!

    Tsunade laughed quietly, but Naruto could hear her. She then said, “don’t slow down, Naruto. Oh, we need to train your situational awareness and dodging ability, too, so make sure not to get hit again; I won’t throw the rocks so weakly and slowly next time.”

    That was weak and slow!? What the hell! Naruto didn’t say anything, though; he only continued jogging, putting all his effort into dodging without breaking stride, too.

    After he finished that training, with his bruises disappearing near-instantly, Tsunade had him show her his taijutsu. She also had him demonstrate his strength technique (or, rather, his version of her technique). Tsunade said, “I call it the Byakugo no jutsu (Strength of a Hundred jutsu) ; not to be confused with Creation Rebirth – Strength of a Hundred jutsu.

    » I named it after this seal, in fact, which was reportedly passed down in the Uzumaki clan main line since the founding of the clan,” pointing at her forehead. “You seriously learned it in a week? I’ll have you show me what Chakra Control exercises you know next.”

    Naruto looked at her seriously and said, “not… exactly. I had managed it before, instinctively,” grimacing at his first memory.

    That said, Naruto showed Tsunade how he stuck leaves on himself, then left them on when he climbed a tree, and later when he walked on water. He had to dodge a few rocks again, this time on the water, but his aunt said that his Chakra Control was ‘adequate for his age’.

    According to Tsunade, Naruto’s taijutsu needed a bit of work; learning from scrolls and an Academy teacher who didn’t know the style very well could do that, though it was mainly a lack of more advanced combinations; he had the basics to a much greater degree. She beckoned Naruto to follow her, and they went up to Biwako and Shizune.

    Tsunade said, “Uchiha brat. Show me your taijutsu,” without hesitation.

    “It’s Biwako,” the girl said, but she showed Tsunade her stances and kata without a protest, other than narrowed eyes.

    “Interesting,” Tsunade said, “your taijutsu is a bit more polished than Naruto’s, though you also lack a lot of things – I can tell. Can you use it well without the Sharingan, though?”

    With that, Tsunade had Naruto and Shizune walk away from the two of them in order to spar with Biwako. Naruto looked on with worry.

    “Don’t worry, Naruto-kun,” Shizune said, “Tsunade-sama DOES know how to control her strength.”

    Naruto nodded at her and turned back to Biwako and Tsunade. As expected, Biwako lost handily.

    Then, Tsunade told her to go all out, and Biwako activated her doujutsu and shouted, “Lightning Style: Thunderbolt!”

    That jutsu was mid-ranged, and the longest range Raiton she had; mainly because the Lightning Element wasn’t meant for true long range.

    Tsunade sidestepped, the jutsu apparently failing at its purpose.

    Naruto could sense the Chakra of a Shadow Clone -or Biwako herself- under the ground, though – Biwako had obviously used the light of the flashy ninjutsu to cover for her making a clone.

    Tsunade lifted one leg… and stomped the ground, dispelling the clone.

    Biwako herself had finished the hand-seals for Phoenix Sage Fire, and Tsunade swayed just enough for the small balls of fire to miss her – unfortunately for Tsunade, Biwako revealed that she had hidden shuriken inside those fireballs; shuriken that she controlled using- near-invisible wires…?

    That move was new; Biwako had never used ninja wire in their spars. She didn't put shuriken in Housenka no jutsu (Phoenix Sage Fire / Phoenix Flower jutsu) often, either.

    Tsunade kicked the ground again, while holding a one-handed hand-seal, with a whisper of ‘Earth Style: Mud Hazard’, which sent a clump of mud… right into Biwako’s active Sharingan.

    She recoiled, the shuriken went in random directions and Tsunade put a kunai at Biwako’s throat before Naruto realized what had happened.

    Biwako admitted defeat, then cleaned her eyes with a handkerchief. Tsunade said, “that was impressive.”

    "Impressive? Are you mocking me?” Biwako said, obviously annoyed, eyes still bloodshot.

    Tsunade simply shook her head. She said, “don’t be absurd, Biwako; it WAS impressive – for a seasoned Genin, not even an Academy student. You made a great opening move by using that Raiton as a distraction and attack both. Using Housenka no jutsu wasn’t even a mistake, per se, but you need a much greater speed of reaction AND faster hand-seals to accompany your Sharingan.

    »Did you notice how with one jutsu, I accomplished more than one thing? Rather like your use of ‘Thunderbolt’. Except the jutsu I used is one of the most basic ones in the Earth element; it’s barely D-ranked, while yours is probably at C-rank.”

    Biwako’s focus on Tsunade’s words was absolute. She said, “so, I need to focus more on my reflexes and improving my hand-seals?”

    Tsunade simply nodded. Then, she said, "efficiency too; achieving all that with less costly, lower-level ninjutsu – if any at all. We will have to see your pure taijutsu more later. This all-out spar got out of hand."

    “Does that mean you will train both of us, Tsunade-sensei?” Naruto asked.

    Tsunade said, “I’m willing to help her from time to time, but you will be my main focus, Naruto.”

    Shizune spoke after many minutes of silence on her part. She said, “I’ll help both of you, too. My primary element is Wind, but I’m a fair hand with ninja wire and weapons, especially senbon.”

    Tonton let out a happy(?) squeal. Naruto smiled at Shizune, saying, “that’s great, Shizune-san!”

    Tsunade said, “my primary element is Water, though my skill with Earth Style is better than most Iwa Jounin, as Biwako saw first hand. I’m more than a fair hand at Fire Style, too. As for Lightning Style… well, I can use it. That’s all.”

    “What about Yang Style and Yin Style?” Naruto asked.

    Tsunade did a double take. She said, “so, that’s how you learned the Byakugo no jutsu in one week? You had already trained yourself in Yang Style?”

    Naruto shook his head. He said, “not quite," thinking of Asuna-san's unmoving body, shivering. "It took me less than three days to complete the exercise of making a leaf hard as iron. I just… get Yang Style. In comparison, it took me over six months to make a leaf look transparent using Yin Style, and only a small part of it; I still haven’t finished that exercise. I don’t doubt it will take me over a year to finish.”

    “Interesting,” Tsunade said, her eyes lighting up. Then, she said, “as for me, I’m the leading authority on Yang Style; most medical ninjutsu, including the Mystical Palm, are based on Yang Style. Though, between you and me, some diagnostic jutsu, the Mystical Palm and the Chakra Transfer jutsu might not be ninjutsu, per se. If there’s anything left over of the legendary ‘Ninshu’, it’s probably those jutsu.”

    “Ninshu?” Naruto asked, the word striking a chord deep within.

    “Not important right now,” Tsunade said, waving him off.

    …A few days later, after Tsunade left a lot of books for Naruto -and a few for Biwako- in storage seals to study, the two children returned to Konoha.

    When one is summoned with the Gyaku Kuchiyose no jutsu (Reverse Summoning jutsu), they have two choices: they either return to their original position in time, or they have to return manually – or be summoned again. Biwako was summoned by a Hawk again, then summoned Naruto.

    Naruto could see that the village was on high alert as he walked to the Academy with Biwako, though at a bit of a distance, so that most people wouldn't find out about their friendship. He eavesdropped on a few ninjas jumping on the nearby rooftops, and he heard something about an intruder coming into Konoha from above, passing through ‘the barrier’.

    Wait – are they talking about the Hawk? Naruto didn’t know whether to be worried or just laugh.

    In the end, the ninjas of Konoha started settling down, though Naruto could tell they were still on edge.

    Iruka’s keen eyes paused on Naruto for a few moments, then on Biwako. The lesson today was about the Second Shinobi World War, especially the Sannin and their achievements – funny, considering Naruto had been with Tsunade less than two hours earlier.

    Iruka’s assistant, Mizuki, was present today to ‘learn the ropes’ or something like that. The assistant looked at Naruto, his eyes narrowing a bit, but he immediately hid it expertly.

    ‘Weird,’ Naruto thought, ‘Mizuki-sensei never hid his dislike for me. If anything, he dislikes me more now than before Maifa, even though he supposedly forgot. He never graduated from assistant teacher, either, even after all those years. Makes me suspicious.’

    Iruka told Mizuki to pick a student and ask them a question on the material.

    Mizuki picked Naruto, saying, “so, Naruto – what was Tsunade of the Legendary Sannin best known for?”

    Barely holding in his laugh, Naruto said, “she was known for her amazing physical strength and healing prowess as a medic-nin. She was the only one who could counter the poisons Chiyo of Suna made, and could punch the ground hard enough to crack it. She could also demolish walls and more.”

    Tsunade had told Naruto about a few of her achievements, and Chiyo’s name had come up more than once.

    Mizuki paused, then talked to Iruka in whispers.

    In the meantime, one of Naruto’s classmates said, “you made that up, Naruto! There’s no way a woman can be strong enough to destroy a wall!”

    The classmate’s name was Nori, or something like that. He probably wouldn’t even graduate. Especially if Sakura, Ino, Ami and even Hinata killed him today. Naruto could see the glares aimed at Nori, and would stay very far away from him for at least a few days.

    Mizuki said, “that is correct, Naruto,” smiling in a fake way.

    Naruto shivered, despite himself. That smile was creepy.

    Fortunately, as Naruto and Biwako found out later, nobody had found out that the intruder was a Hawk, nor that Biwako had something to do with it. Biwako also set up a Reverse Summoning Seal in the Uchiha district, so there would be no need for the Hawks to infiltrate Konoha again.

    As for being summoned by Tsunade, she could do it through the Slug contract, which Naruto had signed, but that was a story for another time.

    -----
    -----

    * From Layla. In turn, ‘Layla’ is a song by Eric Clapton.

    *2 Yes, here, Tsunade hasn’t used Creation Rebirth in any way. She’s physically between twenty-three and her late twenties, not forty-seven, because of her Uzumaki and Senju heritage, not having abused Creation Rebirth and having learned Sage Mode. There’s no need for her special Transformation usually.

    *3 Shishou means ‘Master’, as in Master and Apprentice

    *4 Canon has it use only three hand-seals, but here, the explanation is that Yahiko had shaved off one of the hand-seals too.
     
    moon so bright and Vanbers like this.
  11. Threadmarks: Story3.5
    AoMythology

    AoMythology Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2018
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    319
    (“I wanna know – how much does it hurt ‘ttebane?”

    “Hahaha,” Mikoto laughed delicately, “so there IS something you’re afraid of, Kushina! Who knew!”

    “C’mon, tell me,” Kushina insisted, pouting.

    "Well, if you insist. The truth is that it varies. Itachi’s was a still painful but ultimately easy birth; it was over in less than twenty minutes. Biwako’s, on the other hand… it took many hours, and I suffered serious Chakra exhaustion afterwards,” Mikoto replied, shuddering at the thought of her daughter’s birth.)

    Itachi and Biwako had gone to sleep, and Fugaku took the opportunity to get frisky.

    He was kissing Mikoto’s neck when she stopped him, saying, “wait, Fugaku.”

    “Mm?” Was Fugaku’s reply against her throat, making her shiver.

    She pushed him away, and Fugaku was giving her a look of mock-betrayal, making her giggle. Mikoto suddenly got serious again and considered how to word what she wanted to say.

    Fugaku, bless the man, let her think, though he raised an eyebrow.

    Mikoto finally decided to just blurt it out and said, “Fugaku, I don’t want to have any more children.”

    If anything, his eyebrow climbed higher… he sighed and nodded, though, saying, “I get it. Even if something like that is unlikely to ever happen again, the thought is always there. We should take precautions before we go any further.”

    “Yes,” Mikoto admitted, “Biwako is a one-in-several-generations prodigy when it comes to Chakra capacity, maybe even one in a million. Still, I don’t want to take the risk. I love my daughter and I'm glad she exists, but I wouldn't be able to survive such an experience twice.”

    “Tekka is only sixteen, but he is an amazing sensor, though his range is still rather limited. I swore him to secrecy and brought him before Biwako the other day. Do you know what he discovered?” Fugaku said, very serious.

    Mikoto’s own eyebrows climbed – for all her skill as a kunoichi, she never could get only ONE eyebrow to move; other than his Chakra capacity, that was the only thing she envied in her husband.

    Fugaku continued, saying, “he could actually feel her Chakra, and it was extremely potent; he advised that we teach Biwako how to lower the density of her Chakra early on if we want her to learn the Academy Three, or at least the Bunshin no jutsu.”

    Mikoto’s eyes opened wide, but she didn’t let out a sound.

    “That’s not all. Despite her Chakra being inactive,” Fugaku said, “her reserves, according to Tekka’s estimation, are not completely subpar for an Uchiha entering the Academy.”

    This time, Mikoto couldn’t hold in a gasp. Her daughter… had Academy-worthy reserves?! “But Biwako isn’t even three years old!” Mikoto said loudly.

    Fugaku nodded. Then, he said, “we need to train her early, Mikoto….”

    Mikoto’s very soul rebelled against the idea. She said, “you promised. You promised, Fugaku!” A bit hysterically.

    Fugaku shook his head. He said, “I am not going to take her to a war-zone, Mikoto. The gods know I am only making that mistake once. I wanted Itachi to know not to take people’s lives lightly. I was such a fool,” putting a hand on her back and rubbing it in circles.

    “Still,” Mikoto said, panic leaving her and her breath returning to normal gradually, “training her early… at least tell me you won’t enter her in the Academy early.”

    Fugaku shook his head again. He said, “I will enter her as normal, when she is six, and make it clear she is not to graduate before she is ten years old.”

    Mikoto wanted to insist on her graduation age being twelve, but considering the circumstances, she compromised – Biwako would be allowed to graduate at eleven. Considering Itachi had recently graduated at seven after only one year in the Academy, eleven was outside the norm for their family; Mikoto herself had graduated when she had been nine, same as Fugaku.

    She sighed and changed the subject. Mikoto said, “so, how is the entire situation?”

    Fugaku sighed as well. He said, “not good, Mikoto. Danzo has outmaneuvered us completely. I never knew he was such a treasonous bastard.”

    “So the Third believes him still?” Mikoto said, getting angry despite herself.

    Fugaku replied in the affirmative.

    Mikoto swore loudly. Then, she said, “not that the Third is a paragon, himself,” bitterly.

    “Are you certain?” Fugaku simply asked.

    “Of course I’m certain!” Mikoto yelled, snapping at her husband. “…Sorry,” she said afterwards, “but yes, I am certain that Uzumaki Naruto is also Kushina’s child. I don’t doubt Namikaze Mito is who she is supposed to be, and nobody said anything about Kushina having twins, but I have no doubt.”

    Fugaku’s expression changed into something impish.

    Mikoto knew that expression, so she simply said, “Fugaku, what did you do?”

    Fugaku smiled slyly and said, “I may have gotten Tekka to check on two more children.”

    “That was risky,” Mikoto chided him, “he could have gotten caught, and then where would we be? Anyway, what did he find?” She asked, impatience coloring her tone.

    Fugaku said, “before that, please promise me you won’t fly off the handle.”

    “Fugaku,” Mikoto said, her tone making Fugaku shiver.

    “Mikoto,” Fugaku said, pointing towards his eyes.

    Mikoto checked the nearest mirror, and in her reflection, she saw two active Sharingan, with three tomoe each. She took deep breaths and deactivated her eyes.

    That would never have happened when she had been an active-duty ninja. She was getting rusty in her retirement. Fugaku fortunately did not mock her for her slip, regardless of how embarrassing it was for a Jounin-ranked Uchiha, one who had once had better Chakra Control than most medic-nins at that. Hell, she had survived going up against the Third Raikage with only mildly crippling injuries!

    Fugaku said, “according to Tekka, the two of them had similar Chakra. But there is more – there were trace amounts of Bijuu Chakra… in Mito, and few to no such traces in Naruto.”

    Mikoto couldn’t believe her ears. She said, “that’s-”

    Fugaku said, “it’s not a certain thing, of course,” hurriedly, “it could be a fluke, or it could be that both children were exposed to the Kyuubi’s Chakra, and Naruto simply absorbed it more efficiently.”

    Mikoto paced around the kitchen. She said, “I thought Minato’s seal was airtight. Is Tekka really that good of a sensor?”

    “Yes,” Fugaku replied simply. “Besides,” he then said, “only two years or so have passed; the Chakra of a Bijuu lingers long after such a sealing. You know Fuuinjutsu (the Sealing Arts) far better than I do, Mikoto.”

    Mikoto did. Unbidden, a thought rose within her. She said, “if we are going to teach Biwako from early on, I would like to teach her Fuuinjutsu.”

    Fugaku fell silent. Then, he said, “the Uzumaki arts, too?”

    “Yes,” Mikoto said, her resolve solid, “Kushina didn’t teach me as much as she did Minato, but I am still more than a fair hand at Fuuinjutsu, especially at the Uchiha Style.”

    She tried to distract herself, but she couldn’t get Naruto out of her thoughts. Would the Third Hokage really fall so low, and if so, why?! Wasn't it enough that he had removed the smile from Fugaku's, and her other clansmen's, face? Did that man have to ruin everything?

    -----

    Fugaku was studying his daughter carefully. She had just said that she had finished the Katon: Goukakyuu no jutsu (Fire Style: (Great) Fireball jutsu). When her first attempt at it had been very much subpar compared to Itachi, he had thought that it was too early.

    ‘Why would she be ready?’ He had thought. Though she possessed more Chakra than twelve-year-old Itachi despite being five years younger, her Chakra Control could easily be too low.

    Not that there was a correlation between high reserves and low control, despite what some ninjas -usually first generation- believed, but Mikoto didn’t want anyone to teach Biwako Chakra Control exercises yet, and Fugaku wanted to spare his daughter from Chakra density exercises -they could cause Chakra burns, which were extremely painful- so he had agreed.

    Still, to claim that she learned the Great Fireball jutsu in four days…? He had thought that she either didn’t have enough Control yet, or that she had little to no talent with the Element of Fire, like her mother! Possibly both.

    The two of them walked to the small lake used specifically for Fire jutsu practice. Biwako went through the hand-seals for the Great Fireball, and what she breathed out was, simply put, magnificent.

    Fugaku was dumbstruck by what he saw. When Biwako looked to him for approval, Fugaku was walking away fast, so that his thrilled expression wouldn’t be seen. He finally said, “as expected; you are my child, after all.”

    Biwako’s gasp let him know that his words had not gone to waste.

    After that, Mikoto started teaching Biwako Fuuinjutsu, ninja theory and how to counter genjutsu, while Fugaku handled the physical conditioning and taijutsu. The two of them split the Chakra Control, though it was Fugaku who handled the Chakra density exercises, with help from Nanako, the recently deceased Shisui's grandmother, who had jumped at the chance for something to do; especially something related to the field of medicine like providing Biwako with specialized burn salves.

    As Biwako progressed, Itachi started objecting vehemently, but after Fugaku explained his reasoning, his son ended up stepping aside. Eventually and after a lot of shouting matches. He even showed Biwako a few tricks. As the rebellion ran closer to execution, Fugaku had less and less time to spare for his youngest, but he always checked on her progress.

    For some unknown reason, Biwako thought that she hadn’t progressed much in Fuuinjutsu – possibly because she compared herself to Namikaze Mito who, at the age of seven, was already a recognized Sealing expert who sold various kinds of tags to shops all around Konoha.

    -----

    It was happening again – at least, that was what Tsunade believed.

    According to her father, Hashirama and Madara had been best friends once, though her grandfather would very seldom speak of Madara.

    Her father had also severely disliked his uncle, Tobirama; even more than he had Madara – he had believed that neither Madara nor Tobirama should have ever been Hokage and that they had both betrayed Hashirama.

    Once she had gotten the full story out of Roupu, her father, she hadn’t exactly been pleased with Tobirama, either. Tobirama had used what had later come to be called a referendum as an excuse to keep Madara from becoming Hokage twice.

    The first time, he had pushed for making Hashirama Hokage, which the latter had been unsettled by but ultimately accepted. When the time for Hashirama to make a decision on who was to be Second had been near, Tobirama had, once again, resorted to a referendum… that time, though, Roupu had strongly suspected that Tobirama had rigged the process; it was one of the few points in which her father had fully agreed with Madara, and the point that had been the last straw for Madara, convincing him that defection had been the only way.

    When Tobirama had died, Hashirama had taken back the Hokage position; he had tested and taught Hiruzen -Tsunade’s future sensei and Tobirama’s chosen successor- thoroughly, though obviously not thoroughly enough. It was around that time that Hashirama had been diagnosed with a terminal disease, but he had hung on until Hiruzen had turned twenty-four.

    That was Tsunade’s original motivation for becoming a medic-nin who would surpass her grandfather: to cure people with the same ailment as Hashirama. When did I forget that…? Back to her original thought: Naruto and Biwako. One could almost think that they were the second coming of Hashirama and Madara, but Tsunade knew: they most likely were.

    A Senju and an Uchiha, the pinnacle of talent for their respective clans, being at roughly the same power and skill level and becoming friends… them practically being the only ones in said clans was irrelevant. Tsunade could tell that it was no coincidence. That was the main reason why she had decided to teach Biwako too; Tsunade wanted to make sure that Naruto wouldn’t have to go through what her grandfather had, so she had gotten to know the Uchiha brat, as she often called the girl.

    Thus, Tsunade made sure that Biwako was devoted to her friendship with Tsunade’s great-nephew -and new apprentice- and wouldn’t turn on him for power or out of insanity. Fortunately, Biwako didn’t disappoint so far… at least not completely; her obsession with killing her brother was understandable, though. Fortunately, from what Tsunade could tell, it was slowly giving way to a resolve to get answers from said brother.

    -----

    Recently, Biwako had gotten into the habit of lifting and channeling Chakra through a particular war fan hidden in the Uchiha Shinobi Library. She faintly remembered a tradition of every male Uchiha who had recently awoken the Sharingan doing the same, but what she did was not related to that.

    Simply put, the Gunbai felt strangely familiar to her.

    One day, when she was putting her Chakra into the Gunbai, she found herself in a strange place which looked like the bank of a small river. Biwako quickly put herself on guard, but nothing could have prepared her for what she saw.

    A handsome boy in his mid-teens, with messy black hair and black eyes. He was very familiar.

    Biwako said, “Shisui-san!?” Not dropping her guard.

    The Shisui look-alike (?) looked at her in bewilderment. He looked a bit younger than the last time she had seen him.

    He said, “…Biwako? Is that really you? You look so much older!” Smiling cheerfully.

    Biwako activated her Sharingan, but nothing was out of place – she couldn’t see through whatever genjutsu this was! She said, “what the hell is this?! You died, didn’t you?!”

    Shisui’s shoulders slumped. He said, “did I now? I only have memories up to the point I touched the Gunbai for the second time and practiced with it, when I was sixteen, then darkness. I somehow know that I’m a kind of clone, not real. Did I die then and there? If not, how old was I when I died?”

    Biwako was wary -this could be an attempt to extract information from her through genjutsu- but she still answered, saying, “you were seventeen or eighteen – I’m not sure which. Before you ask, that man -Itachi- killed you.”

    “What?! No, there’s no way!” ‘Shisui’ said, his eyes wide open.

    Biwako told ‘Shisui’ about what had happened leading up to the so-called Uchiha Clan Downfall, and the slaughter itself.

    Shisui seemed angry after that, then contemplative, and said, “Biwako, I wouldn’t believe Itachi so easily; I seriously doubt that he was telling you anywhere near the whole truth.”

    Biwako’s shoulders slumped too, and she said, “yeah, I kind of figured that out already. He’s a phenomenal liar, and I can’t tell what’s the truth and what is not, though.”

    Shisui said, “I’m willing to help you out. I knew Itachi better than anyone else did,” smiling again. “Though I wouldn’t have guessed he would use such a genjutsu on you, so my knowledge might be outdated,” he then said, anger visible in the crease of his face.

    Biwako thought it over a bit, then said, “so, you are like a Shadow Clone of Shisui-san?”

    “I think so,” Shisui said. Then, he twitched, saying, “wait, how do you know about that jutsu?”

    Biwako crossed two fingers of each hand in the Clone seal and produced two Shadow Clones.

    Shisui’s black eyes turned Sharingan red and he examined the clones, saying, “amazing. You can’t be older than nine or ten, and you have easily enough Chakra for the Shadow Clone! Even if it’s much harder to run out of Chakra here.”

    It was obvious that there was something peculiar about that Gunbai. She ignored Shisui’s praise and said, “do you remember why you touched that Gunbai?”

    Shisui fell silent for a bit, then said, “well, I had just become decent at Wind -my third element- when I got the brilliant idea to channel Wind ninjutsu through the Gunbai! I still don’t get why Fugaku-sama scolded me and went to take it away. As soon as he took it from me… well, I ended up here!”

    Biwako ignored the fact that Shisui was able to call an idea of his 'brilliant' without a hint of sarcasm and pondered the deepening mystery. “If only there were someone who knew more,” Biwako murmured.

    It happened suddenly – a man appeared between the two of them.

    Biwako was immediately on guard again, same with both her clones, and she could see Shisui was wary, but he also looked much more relaxed than her clones did.

    The unknown man had chin-length brown hair, was not exactly tall and his eyebrows were cut short. His eyes were a familiar black, which soon turned Sharingan red, with three tomoe each. His facial expression could be best described as ‘blank’; or, at least, Biwako was unable to read it.

    “Who are you?” Biwako asked, not having ever seen this man before. Her clones were guarding her, but Shisui still looked suspiciously relaxed.

    The man started speaking in an archaic-sounding dialect, but soon enough, he managed to speak normally – to a point. He said, “is it not polite to introduce oneself first?”

    “I am Uchiha Biwako,” Biwako said, something seeming more and more familiar about this man.

    “Well met,” the man said, “I am Indra," his expression barely changing.

    “My name is Shisui, Indra-san. Are you an Uchiha?” Shisui asked, seemingly dropping his guard completely, but Biwako could see from his subtle body language that he was very much ready to act.

    Indra turned towards Shisui, looking at him as if he were less than a cockroach, and said, “I am no Uchiha."

    Indra might not have had much in the way of ninja training, because he had apparently discounted Shisui as a threat because of his seeming naivete. Biwako noted that the Sharingan on its own wasn't enough; one had to interpret what the Sharingan told them. What did the man mean with his latest comment, though?

    “How is that possible?” Biwako asked in turn.

    Indra turned back to her and said, “the Uchiha clan came about after my time.”

    Biwako mulled that over, but Shisui intervened again. He said, “no way! Are you the Uchiha Clan Ancestor?”

    Biwako lifted an eyebrow, as if asking Shisui to explain.

    Shisui didn’t disappoint. He said, “legend has it that the first person to possess the Sharingan was the elder son of the Rikudo Sennin, and was the progenitor of the Uchiha clan. In turn, the younger son, also known as the Senju Clan Ancestor, was the progenitor of the Senju clan and the Uzumaki clan.”

    Indra seemed… angry at the mention of his family. He said, “indeed; I am who you believe me to be. I am also one who was inspired by my father’s Ninshu and made my own version.”

    “What did you call it?” Biwako asked, though deep down, she already knew.

    “I named my skill ‘Ninjutsu’,” Indra said, obvious pride filling him.

    Both Biwako and Shisui -not to mention her clones- were speechless. They were in front of the creator of ninjutsu?! Biwako wasn’t certain if this Indra was trustworthy, but she would hear him out.

    Then Indra filled them in on the nature of the fan. He said, “this instrument of war that you touched takes Chakra from its users and turns it into a copy of said user, once he or she dies. The copy has memories and skills up to the point of contact with the weapon. If the next user has Chakra which is wholly compatible with this ‘Gunbai’, he or she is able to meet the copies previously stored. A lot of Chakra is necessary both for a copy to be produced and for an individual to enter the Gunbai’s world.”

    “Is this fan truly that ancient?” Biwako asked, beating Shisui to the punch for his own question.

    “That is a story for another time,” Indra said, but Biwako could see approval in his face; was her question that smart?

    -----

    Indra hated a slew of things, but Ashura and his transmigrants were at the top of that list.

    This Biwako, his own newest transmigrant, was otherwise flawless in his eyes; her relationship with that boy, Naruto, was a serious black mark against her, though. He intended to plot a way to persuade her to distrust Naruto; Indra was certain that an opportunity would present itself eventually. For the time being, Indra would ingratiate himself with her.

    Curiously, a pattern had established itself in the transmigrants of himself and Ashura. Each successive transmigrant was significantly more powerful than the previous one, approaching the original strength of the two brothers, culminating in Madara surpassing Indra once he had assimilated Senju Hashirama’s genetic material.

    In the same vein, Hashirama at his best had been more powerful and skilled than that fool Ashura, though he could not quite compete with Ashura with the Six Paths Yang Power included. Indra would strive not to even think of that abominable ‘Six Paths Sage Mode’, the power that had killed him. According to their father, Hagoromo, it could get even more powerful if the Chakra of the Tailed Beasts were added. Indra had thought of the Six Paths Sage Mode, after all. Oh well….

    The pattern seemed to confirm itself in Biwako; she had been born with beyond exceptional reserves of Chakra, had reflexes that even Indra had not possessed the like of at her age, moved faster than any other person her age Indra had encountered, her physical strength was well above par for a female, and she had reached two tomoe in each Sharingan at an age most possessors of his Chakra could and had only managed one each, Warring States period or not.

    The Ashura transmigrant seemed to be different at first glance. His reserves of Chakra were barely adequate, though his Bloodline Limit might compensate for that. Nothing else was sub-par where it concerned Senju Naruto except his amount of Chakra, though. Could it be that Ashura’s ‘late bloomer’ tendency had targeted his Chakra reserves in particular?

    Most likely. That might mean that Senju Naruto would reach near-impossible levels of Chakra once he reached a certain age and skill level; the attributes most affected early-on tended to grow the most in the end.

    Madara’s copy wished to speak to Biwako, but Indra kept blocking him; the man was too- enthusiastic to allow any interactions with his newest transmigrant. Fortunately, this was Madara from long before he had managed to assimilate Hashirama’s genetic material, thus not powerful enough to overcome Indra. This Shisui, though – what threat could he pose to Indra’s plans?
     
  12. Threadmarks: Story4
    AoMythology

    AoMythology Know what you're doing yet?

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2018
    Messages:
    129
    Likes Received:
    319
    AN: This chapter has another spar between Naruto and Biwako – the music I used while writing it is the Rival Battle Theme from Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire. Do with this information as you will.

    Yes, I avoided the Blame Danzo meme. For now. They are blaming Orochimaru... even though they should have gone with the 'both of the above' option. :p

    -----

    Naruto didn’t want to be a burden, so he had decided to give some of his vegetables, fruits, edible roots, plants and leaves and other such things to Biwako to sell; they were currently of higher quality than anything else anyone could find anywhere in the world – at least, in Naruto’s not-so-humble opinion.

    It would almost hurt him physically to part with things he had grown with his own hands and Chakra, but most of them would go to waste anyway; he had too large a garden nowadays.

    Biwako said, “you aren’t a burden, Naruto. There’s no need to pay rent. Besides, I don’t need it,” evenly.

    “If you don’t need the money, then put it aside,” Naruto countered, “besides, you’ve opened the Uchiha library to me – that’s priceless.”

    Biwako sighed. She said, “you won’t take ‘no’ for an answer, will you…? All right, but two thirds of the money will be yours – this time, I’m not taking ‘no’ for an answer.”

    After consulting Shizune and Tsunade, Biwako got the necessary permits in Konoha. Normally, they wouldn’t be available to a child barely ten years of age, but being the 'last loyal Uchiha' had its perks, apparently. Tsunade also advised them to start selling them at a serious markdown at first, because nobody would buy them at the price they were actually worth until they had tried them and gotten (kind of) addicted.

    -----

    “Tsunade-sensei,” Naruto said, “do you have any pictures of my mother or father? You could make it a birthday present for me becoming ten tomorrow…?” Desperate for something of his parents. Anything. He hadn’t dared make such a request before, when he had barely known his aunt.

    Tsunade thought it over a bit, then unsealed a photo that contained an old woman with dyed brown hair; Tsunade herself; a little redheaded girl, five or so years old; and a young boy who was ten or eleven, with light brown hair and hazel (?) eyes. Tsunade looked to be in her mid- or late- teens.

    Naruto could see that Tsunade was unable to look at the picture for long. He took it in his hands with reverence and looked at the little girl’s face very carefully. Her big violet-colored eyes were not that difficult to spot. He said, “is that…?”

    “Yes,” Tsunade said, her body trembling a bit, “that’s Kushina when she was a kid, and the older woman was our ancestor Mito. Don’t let her looks fool you. She aged prematurely due to sealing the Kyuubi within her so late in life, and she hadn’t had exceptional Chakra reserves, at least for an Uzumaki.”

    Naruto was curious about his ancestor Mito, but he wanted to hear about someone more recent at the moment. He could tell that the young boy was a sore spot – it must have been Nawaki, her little brother; she always changed the subject when it reached him. So, he didn’t say anything about them. He only said, “what about Namikaze Minato?”

    “I don’t have any photos of him,” Tsunade said, “why don’t you ask your sister?” Looking at Naruto with a strange half-smile.

    Naruto shook his head. He said, “what am I gonna tell her? ‘Hello, I’m the twin brother you never even knew about’?”

    Tsunade winced, but she said, “you can’t run away forever, Naruto. I know that from personal experience.”

    Naruto barely kept from saying something scathing. He said, “it’s not that easy sensei ’ttebayo.”

    Tsunade smiled at him in a strange way again, saying, “yeah, I know….” After a few minutes of silence, she withdrew another photo; this one had two people in their late teens, and the woman said, “here. Look at this one.”

    It contained a young man with light blond hair and hazel eyes and a young woman with bright blond hair and electric blue eyes.*

    The female was the most beautiful woman Naruto had ever seen, bar none. Tsunade barely even came close. “Are these…?” He said.

    “Yes, they are your grandparents,” Tsunade said, “my older brother, Senju Zairuji… and Namikaze Reera, his lover.”

    Naruto couldn’t take his eyes off his grandmother. He said, “what happened to them?”

    Tsunade said, “Zairuji died before he even turned twenty-three years old, on a B- turned A- ranked mission; he was being evaluated for the Jounin rank. Around half a year after that, Reera gave birth to Minato, though I never connected the dots. Grandmother went to visit little Minato a bit too often for an unknown orphan, especially after Reera’s death five years later, though Grandmother died only a couple years after Reera did – again, I never connected the dots. I wonder why Grandmother never told me….”

    “Was Reera a kunoichi?” Naruto asked, very curious.

    “She was a civilian – do you think I would be called Konoha’s most beautiful kunoichi if I had had her as competition?” Tsunade said, a strange expression forming on her face, “though I did some digging the past few days – looked at some letters exchanged between Reera and Zairuji when he had been away at the front, and her parents were actually ninjas, or at least one of them. Her father was a true Sealing Master, one of the few outside the Uzumaki clan. I think that the Uzumaki clan and the Namikaze family had brains wired differently to the rest of the world, and that’s why they were so good at Fuuinjutsu.”

    Naruto found that very interesting, but he realized something. He said, “were you jealous of Reera being prettier?” Trying not to look smug.

    Tsunade said, “it’s called being envious, not jealous, you brat,” glaring at him.

    Naruto simply snickered. She hadn’t answered his question.

    Tsunade smiled at Naruto again, but this time, it was more- happy and more genuine, not one of her sadistic smirks or the strange little smiles of earlier. She said, "I'm glad you are loosening up around me, Naruto. That doesn't mean you won't pay for this remark, though," her smile turning into the sadistic smirk halfway through.

    -----

    Biwako was in the Academy again while Iruka was lecturing them, a few months after Naruto’s tenth birthday. She had just noticed something out of the ordinary with Mito, though: she wasn’t cheerful like she usually would be. No, she was obviously depressed.

    When the lessons stopped for lunch, Naruto took Biwako with him and sat near Mito -he had obviously noticed the same thing she had-, taking out the bento (lunch box) one of his clones had made.

    It was rare for Naruto to show his friendship with Biwako in public, so this was a pleasant, though risky, surprise.

    Mito lifted her head, saying, “Naruto…? What are you doing here?”

    Naruto simply shrugged.

    “I thought you didn’t like me at all,” Mito commented, blinking slowly.

    Naruto said, “you caught me at a bad time before,” though he didn’t apologize.

    Mito looked ready to question him, but she sighed and closed her eyes. Biwako could see she was shaking slightly, but neither asked her what had happened.

    A few minutes of eating in silence later, Mito spoke again, this time seemingly back to her usual self. She said, “so, Biwako, what are you learning now?”

    Biwako thought it over a bit, then said, “I am learning a secondary element, taijutsu, shurikenjutsu and how to recognize and break genjutsu better.”

    Biwako didn’t mention that it was her dead cousin, Shisui, who was teaching her how to use shuriken, some taijutsu and about genjutsu. Nor did she say anything about the Hawk boss summon being the main one teaching her the Lightning Element, Shisui the Fire element and Tsunade of the Sannin taijutsu; nor about having started on a third element, Earth.

    She had also improved the speed of her hand-seals by an insane amount, mainly thanks to various exercises Shisui had shown her and Shizune’s help. Biwako had also recently taken up Shizune’s offer to teach her first aid.

    Mito nodded, seemingly impressed. “What about you, Naruto?” She said next.

    Naruto smiled lightly, saying, “well, I’ve been learning about first-aid, how to use my main element and a few other things.”

    Biwako knew that Tsunade had pushed a lot of medical books on Naruto, with Shizune teaching him about herbs, poisons and his third element, Wind; mainly how to enhance weapons with Fuuton (Wind Style) Chakra.

    Tsunade had also barred the both of them from using clones to learn things faster unless she was supervising, and even when she was, she usually didn’t let them use them anyway. Her justification was that taking in memories from clones so often might overwhelm their young brains, and that their bodies might not be able to keep up. ‘It hasn’t been documented, what memories from multiple clones do to children,’ she had said. Biwako knew that the older woman had a point, but she definitely didn’t like it.

    Naruto was also developing his very own Wood Style jutsu, but he remained tight-lipped on that. His sensory had also increased in range; rather than four hundred meters (a little less than a quarter mile) of radius, it had reached five hundred and fifty (around a third of a mile) in the past year and a half.

    Another thing Tsunade was teaching the both of them was Fuuinjutsu (the art of Sealing); the woman was adamant that they both learn it. Probably because it was very important in most major surgeries, but neither of them minded learning it. Naruto probably felt more connected to his mother’s clan when he learned Fuuinjutsu, and Biwako remembered times past with fondness rather than bitterness, though she wouldn’t be able to truly rest easy until after Itachi answered some very pointed questions.

    According to Shisui and her own memories, the treatment of the Uchiha by the upper echelons of Konoha had been nothing short of atrocious, which was yet another reason for Biwako to support Naruto, even if he decided to turn on that village. On the other hand, the plan to seize the seat of the Hokage by treachery and possibly force was really stupid – it reeked of desperation, rather. Biwako had raged at first when Shisui had told her; he had said he had been certain that Itachi wouldn’t approve of Biwako finding out, but also that he no longer cared what Itachi would think… so, he had told her, which she was deeply grateful to Shisui for.

    As for Naruto, while he did put serious effort into learning the medical arts, he often asked Tsunade for more combat training, repeatedly and sometimes to the point he grated on even Biwako’s nerves. The woman usually gave him Chakra Control exercises or physical training to increase his Control and reserves when he said such a thing. Whenever he became a bit too annoying, she made him do ‘dodge training’, which -while a valid training exercise- was, in part, an excuse for Tsunade to hit Naruto.

    Tsunade did give him combat training, especially in taijutsu -including their strength technique, Byakugo no jutsu- and both his primary elements, but Naruto wanted more of it and less medical training. The boy wasn’t as strong physically as Tsunade when she had been his age, but he was still naturally strong – as in, without counting the Strength of a Hundred jutsu – or any Chakra enhancement for that matter.

    Mito spoke again, saying, “mou, Naruto! Do you have to be so mysterious?” And pouting.

    Naruto smirked, saying, “that’s half the fun! Keeping people guessing ‘ttebayo!”

    Mito blinked, zoning out for a few seconds looking at Naruto’s face. Then, she got up, said, ‘I gotta go!’ And left, forgetting what was left of her lunch there.

    Biwako looked at Naruto, who looked back. She shrugged, and Naruto said, “Shikamaru was right, blond girls are troublesome.”

    Biwako rolled her eyes.

    Kiba approached them then and told Naruto, “Naruto! What the hell did you say to her!”

    What? Has the mutt lost his mind?

    “What…?” Naruto said, looking understandably confused.

    “Don’t play innocent with me!” Kiba said, glaring at Naruto, “what. Did. You. Tell. Mito!”

    “We just talked,” Naruto said, then narrowed his eyes. He said, “wait – do you like Mito or something?”

    “That’s none of your business, you idiot! Now explain – why did she seem so upset!” Kiba demanded.

    Naruto said, “she was like that when I got here,” narrowing his eyes further.

    Biwako was starting to worry for the mutt and his apparent death wish and, as if on cue, she heard a puppy whimpering.

    "What? Akamaru, whaddaya mean this clown is scaring you?” Kiba whispered.

    If Biwako could hear that, there was no way Naruto couldn’t.

    "That’s it! Me, you, the sparring ring!” Kiba said energetically, “and don’t think you can give up like other times, Naruto!”

    Naruto only faced the non-clan children usually -and won-, giving up against Chouji and Kiba; and recently Biwako, Hinata, Ino and Sakura. Though she didn’t like the fact he had to forfeit against Biwako, it was better than fighting with both holding back almost everything in their arsenal.

    He often tied with Shino, who was bad at pure taijutsu, and Shikamaru simply gave up first, the same with Ami… who was pretty scared of Naruto nowadays. Shino might know he was holding back, because according to Naruto, Shino looked at him in a weird way after their spars – though Biwako thought Shino always looked at people weirdly.

    Well, considering how Naruto's performance had tanked from the best at taijutsu of the boys in their class to about middle of the pack, someone was bound to notice something. Of course, she was the only one there who knew Naruto’s true strength.

    ‘Which means that this guy is fucked,’ Biwako concluded.

    Biwako could tell that Kiba was mainly looking for an excuse for a fight, but Naruto might not see that, blinded by his brotherly instincts.

    When the lessons resumed, after a lecture by Iruka, they had taijutsu spars scheduled.

    Kiba had seemed about to speak when Naruto cut him off.

    Naruto said, “Iruka-sensei. Can- uh, may I fight Kiba today?” With clear signs of impatience.

    Everyone’s jaws dropped, other than Biwako’s and Iruka’s. Even Kiba looked like he was surprised.

    Akamaru began whimpering again, probably intimidated by Naruto’s Chakra and presence. So, ninken (ninja dogs) can be sensor-types? Or is it because of his nose? Biwako hadn’t seen anything about Chakra sense in the entries for ninken in the Uchiha Ninja Library, but she resolved to pay more attention to all those irrelevant people because she might have to fight against them for real someday.

    As for what the ninken might be sensing, Naruto’s Chakra reserves had increased the past year and a half from being on par with a slightly above average Chuunin to a very powerful Chuunin or weaker Jounin. While Biwako still had more Chakra than Naruto, and had grown too, the difference had shrunk. From having three times as much Chakra as Naruto, she had recently ended up with a bit over twice as much as him; she might have to redouble her training…. With care not to destroy herself, nor neglect the rest of her training, of course; fortunately, they had Tsunade to advise them.

    On the other hand, Naruto had greatly improved his Chakra Control, and according to Tsunade, he should be ready to start learning the Shousen jutsu (Mystical Palm jutsu) by next month. As for Biwako’s Chakra Control, she was almost ready to learn B-ranked Fire Style and Lightning Style jutsu. She had already learned Ryuuka no jutsu, a Fire jutsu that spread by contact and made a new Lightning ninjutsu, the Jigokunagashi (Hell Current), though it needed quite a bit of polishing.

    Lost in her thoughts, Biwako nearly missed the beginning of the spar between Naruto and Kiba.

    Kiba attacked first, with Naruto waiting patiently, though the latter was obviously just as worked up. Kiba’s attack was wild, but still accurate… or it would have been, had Naruto not dodged. Kiba was still underestimating Naruto. By the time Kiba recovered from overextending, Naruto kicked the other boy’s ankle.

    Crack!

    Kiba cried out as his ankle was either sprained or broken. Before Iruka could intervene, Naruto punched Kiba in the gut.

    To Biwako, the sight of Kiba balancing on three limbs while puking was hilarious, but the others didn’t seem very amused.

    “Call! Uzumaki Naruto is the winner!” Iruka shouted in the midst of the other Academy students’ chattering.

    “That was cruel, Naruto-kun,” Hinata said with her stutter absent, surprisingly enough.

    The girl had an austere expression on her face, making her look like a true Hyuuga for the first time, making Biwako scoff.

    “Biwako-san?” Hinata questioned, her stern façade broken.

    “Kiba really had it coming,” Biwako commented, ignoring Shino saying something about it being illogical to hurt comrades so seriously.

    Naruto didn’t say anything, but only walked away from the Academy completely. Mito wasn’t there; she hadn’t returned after she had left during the lunch, and that was probably making Naruto worry. Biwako decided to stay at the Academy to inform Naruto of anything important that might happen after his leaving early.

    She was tempted to send a Shadow Clone after him, but decided against it for the same reason she never displayed her Sharingan around a Konoha ninja or civilian: she didn’t trust any of them and also wanted to keep her abilities secret in case she ever had to fight someone from Konoha to the death.

    -----

    Naruto was searching for Mito, but his sensor skill didn’t reach far enough to find her. In a village full of ninjas, going after traces was much harder than in a civilian town. He started walking idly around the village, overhearing civilians talking about an assassination attempt on ‘the honorable daughter of the Fourth’; he also heard that someone had been killed in the attempt.

    He started walking faster when he heard all that; then, he found the strongest Chakra presence he had ever felt – stronger than the Third Hokage. Stronger than Tsunade, even.(*2)

    He found his feet taking him to Training Ground Three, where the owner of the super-strong Chakra presence was. What he found was, in hindsight, not that strange. The owner was extremely tall and had long white hair. He had his back to the side Naruto was coming from and seemed to be meditating.

    “Beat it, kid,” the man said without turning to look at him.

    “Jiraiya-sama?” Naruto blurted out.

    Jiraiya turned around as soon as he heard Naruto’s voice, hopefully not giving himself whiplash. He was speechless for a few seconds while looking at Naruto’s face, making the boy uncomfortable, then said, “what’s your name, kid?” In a booming voice.

    “I’m Uzumaki Naruto, Jiraiya-sama,” Naruto said, but he didn’t bow. So this was Mito’s godfather. Or was he Naruto’s too?

    Jiraiya opened and shut his mouth a few times. Suddenly, another strong Chakra presence entered Naruto’s range, which he recognized as Mito’s. He turned towards her, with Jiraiya doing the same not long after. Had he heard her, or was he a sensor-type too? His Chakra didn’t feel like a sensor’s, though.

    “Pervy Sage!” Mito shouted, barely even breathing hard, despite running at a great speed.

    She started when she noticed Naruto, and kept looking between him and Jiraiya. Then, she straightened up and said, “so, you two have met,” her voice even.

    “Mito… who is he?” Jiraiya asked, his expression unreadable.

    “Oh, like you don’t know, Jiraiya!” Mito spat, trembling, with her fists clenched.

    Jiraiya blinked, then said, “Mito, I swear, this is the first time I’ve seen this boy-”

    “Cut the bullshit!” Mito yelled, looking ready to slap the man.

    Naruto couldn’t help it – he laughed. He laughed long and hard, not caring about Mito’s shiver when she heard him, nor the fact his laugh sounded like that of a madman. He said, “this is rich! Everyone is like a toy to him, even his old student! It’s no wonder his other two students left the village!”

    Jiraiya looked at him, eyes narrowed, while Mito looked confused. Jiraiya said, “you are talking about the Sandaime.”

    “Of course I am,” Naruto said, “is there anyone that that man didn’t treat as disposable?” Feeling his lips part in a grin.

    Mito looked him in the face and cringed – Naruto had a feeling that his grin didn’t quite look happy, or sane.

    “Normally, I would slap you for talking about Sarutobi-sensei like that -and most Konoha shinobi would do the same or worse- but I can’t find it in myself to care right now,” Jiraiya said, his expression as unreadable as his aunt’s when she played poker.

    Naruto shrugged in indifference, still grinning.

    “Shall we go see the Hokage?” Jiraiya said, expression not changing.

    Naruto grimaced. “Do we have to?” He asked.

    He would be happier if he never had to meet the Sandaime from up close. Feeling his Chakra didn’t count.

    Jiraiya scrutinized him, saying, “I hate to ask, but why don’t you want to see the Hokage?”

    Naruto said, “I would rather not meet the man who made sure to keep me from my sister for some unknown reason,” teeth clenched.

    “When did you find out?” Mito asked him, her eyes suspiciously wet.

    “A bit over a year ago,” Naruto admitted.

    “Why didn’t you tell me?” Mito asked, tears running down her face.

    “What would I tell you?” Naruto said, “‘excuse me, I’m the twin brother you’ve never met’? Would you believe me?”

    Mito seemed ready to tear into Naruto, but Jiraiya interrupted her, saying, “how did you find out, Naruto?” Scrutinizing him.

    “I’d rather not say right now,” Naruto said very seriously.

    “...Fair enough,” Jiraiya said, his expression once again unreadable.

    The three of them walked back towards the Academy, but instead of entering it, they went to the Hokage’s office attached to it. The Hokage’s secretary bowed to Jiraiya and Mito, ignoring Naruto, and the three of them entered the room in which the Hokage did his paperwork.

    The Third had brown eyes and was gray, nearly white haired; Naruto wasn’t sure, but he thought the hair had once been brown too. The man had a serious expression on his face – Naruto had been able to tell that the man was a sensor-type from the first time he had felt his Chakra; he must have known they were coming. The man made a few hand-seals at an extreme speed, making Naruto tense up.

    Sealing formulas spread all over the room, and Naruto regretted not sending a clone. ‘I shouldn’t have come here,’ he thought. He did recognize the array as being related to silence and privacy, but it could just as easily have been something lethal.

    “Sandaime-sama,” Naruto said, trying for the tone his upperclassman Neji, the arrogant one who was popular with the girls, used with the weirdo – Hinata or something.

    The Third said nothing, but Naruto was still tense, making him go for a kunai when he felt a hand on his shoulder. Fortunately, it was only Jiraiya.

    Jiraiya said, “calm down, kid – you’re way too tense. I get that you don’t trust the old man, but I am here and on your side,” softly.

    Naruto relaxed a bit, but didn’t take his eyes off the Third.

    “So, it has come to this,” the Sandaime said, his expression still serious but not especially intimidating.

    “Hokage-sama,” Jiraiya said, “I have come for an explanation,” his face even more blank than earlier, if that was possible.

    “What will you do if you do not get one, or if it isn’t to your liking, Jiraiya?” The Third asked, looking relaxed.

    Jiraiya said, “you could always order me to remain quiet, but your opinions won’t matter much if you’re ousted from office immediately afterwards due to the public outcry,” his lips thinning slightly.

    Jiraiya was threatening the Sandaime! That took serious balls!

    The presence of the Third suddenly became suffocating! Naruto faintly heard ‘Kuchiyose: Toad Elders’ and ‘Kuchiyose: Monkey King Enma’ while being moved to a corner of the office. The powerful Chakra presences not being held back started overwhelming Naruto; a buzzing in his ears was all he could hear, but he tried to course more of his Chakra through his body.

    Suddenly, he could hear voices and feel more presences; strange ones… though he might have imagined the new presences.

    “Jiraiya-chan? Hiruzen-chan? What is the meaning of this?”

    “I would very much like to find that out, Hiruzen! I know the both of you, and this must be very serious!”

    “My remaining student has turned on me, that’s what it is!”

    “What did you say, you old snake in the grass…?!”

    “Woah, Jiraiya-chan! There’s no need for THAT kind of insult!”

    “Please, Ma! This is serious!”

    “I agree with Shima-dono, Jiraiya – that was over the top!”

    “Enma-sama, when you hear what Sarutobi has done, you’ll definitely agree with me.”

    Naruto opened his eyes, and the scene was entirely unexpected!

    Two rather small toad summons (?) were perched on Jiraiya’s shoulders, and a monkey summon (?) that was a bit taller and broader than even Jiraiya was standing next to the Sandaime, a hand on the much shorter man’s shoulder. Two copies of Jiraiya were standing in front of Naruto and Mito, with Mito curled up in a ball.

    Naruto moved in front of his sister, coursing more Chakra through his body, which helped him feel better. He kept listening to the two older males argue, with the three summoned creatures (?) trying to mediate.

    After a furious debate between the two white-haired men, Jiraiya simply sagged and asked, “sensei… why?”

    The Third thought the question over, then said, “you wouldn’t get it, Jiraiya.”

    “Just spit it out,” Jiraiya said, a defeated, disappointed expression on his face.

    ‘Did the Sandaime ever look at Orochimaru the same way Jiraiya-sama is looking at him?’ Naruto wondered.

    “Very well,” the Third said, looking older than ever.

    The Third Hokage went on to tell all of them how the time after the Kyuubi attack had been a difficult one, with low manpower; he had believed they couldn’t afford to protect two infants from rogue Iwa assassins – and yes, they had been and still were a very real threat! After all, Namikaze Minato was hated that much in Iwa, and a small group of Iwa missing-nins had nearly gotten to Mito recently.

    Naruto could tell that he was still hiding something, but the man continued on to say that he, Danzo and Orochimaru had convened, and all three had agreed on that course of action while Koharu and Homura had been in the hospital, having been injured in the Kyuubi attack.

    “In hindsight,” the Third said, “Orochimaru was only trying to undermine me. I’m not sure why Danzo and I liked the plan. I can only assume senility on both our parts – besides, there was something distracting us: a slew of thefts and kidnappings, most of which were attributed to Orochimaru later. Afterwards, I had to keep the secret, or I’d lose the support of most of Konoha.”

    “That’s your excuse? Senility; distraction? It’s not like you were under mind-,” Jiraiya said, then suddenly stopped talking. All eyes were on Jiraiya this time, as he tried and failed to speak. He took a moment to collect himself, then said, “Uchiha Kagami’s eyes went missing around that time, didn’t they?”

    The Third nodded, then said, “yes, I discovered them missing a week or so later when I checked- wait, are you saying…?”

    Jiraiya nodded. He said, “you and Danzo wouldn’t have been stupid enough – well, at least, you, sensei, wouldn’t have been stupid enough to separate the twins without something like the Kotoamatsukami mind-controlling you.”

    “Are you saying you think that Orochimaru might have access to the Kotoamatsukami!?” The Third said, looking horrified.

    “That’s what I suspect,” Jiraiya said, his expression grim.

    The Third still had an expression of horror on his face, but he took a deep breath and said, “no, no- let us not jump to conclusions. Even if Orochimaru can be very subtle, there will be indirect traces: opinions suddenly changing, the balance shifting in favor of or against particular nations and more; so, we will be able to be reasonably certain whether you are right or wrong,” his body slowly relaxing and his expression turning neutral once again.

    “That’s why you are the 'Professor', sensei… though I don’t think this is a conversation we should be having in front of Academy students,” Jiraiya said, his body also relaxing a bit.

    The summons felt and looked less tense too, but they stayed there. Naruto was taken outside by Jiraiya’s clones, and was carrying Mito in his arms. He was trembling lightly, much to his annoyance. ‘Is this what all my training amounts to? Freezing up at the first sign of violence?’ Naruto thought. One could say that it was two angry Kage-level shinobi, so it was understandable. Naruto felt that all of that was excuses.

    Naruto had a lot more to think about, on the other hand. He was still furious at the Third, though; even more so, after the whole circus in there. He didn't much blame Jiraiya, who had actually made sure to protect him and Mito; the way the Third had acted was extremely irresponsible… which was par for the course for the man, actually.

    -----

    Naruto was on a mission, kind of. He yawned; he was missing sleep and breakfast for this! It was going to be worth it, though. He was infiltrating the old Senju compound to get as much of the Senju Ninja Library as he could, especially Hashirama’s and Tobirama’s jutsu scrolls.

    Most importantly, Naruto wanted to get whatever notes on the Second’s Hiraishin (Flying Thunder God) Tsunade didn’t have on her already, barring those in the forbidden Scroll of Seals, though his aunt didn’t know where in the library they were; and, of course, anything he could find on the Mokuton (Wood Style), because so far he had been pretty much flying blind.

    He was ‘armed’ with a few vials with Tsunade’s blood, though his own might do in a pinch. Fortunately, the Senju compound was nοwhere near the Inuzuka compound, nor very close to the Hyuuga compound, so it was less likely for Naruto to be detected. Yay for Tobirama’s paranoia! Naruto didn’t like doing this like a thief in the night -though it was early morning- but he really didn’t want to explain things to any of the idiots in charge. A Wood Clone was home 'sleeping' and would be attending the Academy in two hours or so, because his Wood Clones were more durable than his Shadow Clones.

    Naruto was using Jiraiya’s jutsu, taught to him by Tsunade, the Touton (Transparent Escape) jutsu, to infiltrate unseen. He was also covered in seals that would keep the Byakugan from noticing him and scent-killing spray, just to be sure. Tsunade didn’t need to help Naruto all that much in training his infiltration skills – he was a natural in stealth.

    His fellow sensor-types would be able to find him, but he would have to take the risk, because there was no known way to make oneself invisible and hide one’s Chakra from sensors at the same time. The only one to manage that in the history of the Hidden Villages had been Mu, the Second Tsuchikage, who was known as the Non-Person because of that and his mundane stealth skills.

    He poured a bit of Tsunade’s blood into the seal protecting the gate of the Senju compound and put some of his Chakra into it. Nothing happened.

    ‘Wait,’ Naruto thought, ‘why isn’t anything happening?’ Getting more worried by the second and keeping his eyes on the main array.

    A few seconds later, the array glowed a faint green. Knowing that that was what was supposed to happen, Naruto opened the gate, entered, closed it behind him and reactivated the blood seal with a few hand-seals taught by Tsunade. He went to the correct house, again according to his aunt’s instructions, and entered it after using more blood and Chakra to nullify another Blood Seal. It took him less than a minute to find it – it was the largest building in the complex.

    The boy went to the basement and used his sensor skill, putting his index finger on the floor the way Tsunade had taught him – it barely increased the range of the skill, at least above the ground, but the precision and accuracy went up by a lot that way. According to Tsunade, Naruto would likely never go above four or so kilometers of range as a normal sensor, which was still a really good maximum range, but his precision was absolutely insane.(*3)

    ‘Now, where is it…?’ Naruto thought, using the floor and dirt below as a medium to more easily spread truly minuscule amounts of separated Chakra, in the form of Physical energy and Spiritual energy, all around. Something that only applied to true sensor-types, since a non-natural sensor like Iruka would need actual Chakra, more than the infinitesimal amount someone like Naruto could get away with, and wouldn’t be able to spread it as efficiently and be more noticeable and less precise as a result. That was without getting into just how much training one needed to do that compared to a Sensor-type. The man did know some tips for a true Sensor, though, fortunately for Naruto.

    Sensing was done by molding Chakra and circulating it through one's body while separating some of it into Yin and Yang instinctively. Even among sensor-types, it was a somewhat advanced skill to be able to consciously separate Yin and Yang with such ease; it was more cost-effective too, because only molding a small amount of Chakra was necessary. The ones who fully mastered it were able to make themselves invisible to other sensors by simulating civilians, though that level of skill was extremely rare, and the Sensor in hiding was unable to use the Sensor skill or other Chakra-based skills during that period as a drawback, too.

    Naruto didn’t need to only limit himself to his plain-old Yin-Yang Style Sensory, though. When that failed, he went through a few hand-seals, executing one of two Wood Style jutsu he had made himself. ‘Wood Style: Forest Net Works!’ He said in his mind.

    The building housing the Senju Ninja Library was made of wood. Dead wood, which made things harder, but Naruto hadn’t been idle in the past year and a half. He hadn’t been taught much in the way of offensive jutsu, so he had had time to explore his Wood element. Rather than go for offense -which could be covered by any of the three normal elements he could use eventually, even if his aunt was being stingy- or defense -which he could use both Earth and Water for-, Tsunade had persuaded him to use the Wood Style for supplementary jutsu, for the time being at least.

    That was how ‘Wood Style: Living Makibishi’ had been born. Naruto would use Mokuton to make ninja spikes, usually beforehand, and those spikes, made with his Chakra, could be manipulated almost at will to grow quickly and impale someone’s foot. Shizune hadn’t yet taught him enough about poisons to risk putting some into the makibishi, nor had he gotten good enough to control the spikes without a hand-seal, but Tsunade apparently intended to have him put through his paces with poisons soon.

    ‘There!’ Naruto thought; a large hollow space in the basement stood out.

    He went through a series of hand-seals, wrote a few things out on a particular place, and a secret passage opened. Naruto snickered at how similar the defenses the Senju and the Uchiha would use were – fated enemies his ass! He closed the library’s entrance behind him and took out a few special Sealing Scrolls sealed in a band around his forearm and in his new goggles, which were green rather than orange, a gift from Biwako; the Uchiha style of Sealing was all about making items with specific properties, and Biwako had found notes on that in the Uchiha Shinobi Library. The idea of forearm bands also belonged to Biwako – she had no shortage of good ideas, especially that band full of shuriken on her wrist.(*4) Not that Naruto would admit that to Biwako herself.

    Naruto preferred the Shuriken Kage Bunshin his aunt had shown him and promised to teach him eventually. It was amazing! That was why he rarely wore his own wristband of shuriken, even though he could copy Biwako’s near-perfectly. Back to reality, Naruto went about sealing as many scrolls and books as he could into his own scrolls, while a few Shadow Clones looked for anything by Tobirama or Hashirama.

    …He managed to seal pretty much everything with help from Shadow Clones in less than six hours, even though the library was absolutely titanic, much bigger than the Uchiha equivalent, though it had only one underground level, with copious use of seals to save space.

    Naruto had been unable to find anything written by a Hokage, though. He had found his great-great grandmother Mito’s notes on Sealing and Sensory, at least. Naruto yawned, longing for his bed after waking up at five in the morning and being hard at work for so long.

    I have only found the Genin, Chuunin and Jounin level wings, though. Not the clan heads’ wing. Are those in the Scroll of Seals or- wait. Hashirama could have hidden it!

    After quite a bit of using his Forest Net Works again, he found something that even Tsunade might not have known about. A place in the Library where the wood felt… closer to alive, kind of. Naruto likened it to one of his Living Makibishi.

    In fact, it was exactly like that. While most of Konoha had been built the usual way, Hashirama had made SOME buildings and trees, like parts of the Academy, as well as the Forest of Death a little ways outside Konoha – though the latter had been made in his anger and depression over Madara’s defection(*5).

    Apparently, the main Senju building only had a few additions by Hashirama, and Naruto had stumbled upon one. Naruto manipulated the wood with a few hand-seals. It resisted him far more than any other wood he had ever manipulated, but after putting in a lot of tightly-controlled Chakra, he managed to make the passage open without needing a password or the correct hand-seals.

    ‘Yet another creepy passage,’ Naruto thought in humor, then shivering at the thought of ghosts. He entered the space anyway.

    There, he hit the jackpot: more scrolls by his ancestor Mito, including information on something called the ‘Adamantine Chains’; Kuchiyose: Rashoumon, a defensive jutsu; a lot of Suiton and Doton jutsu by Tobirama and Hashirama, quite a few jutsu from other elements too; notes on improving one’s skill with the Water element; notes on Chakra Sensing, by Mito and Tobirama both; the Bringer of Darkness genjutsu, which was a failed but still otherwise useful attempt to make doujutsu users useless; the Shadow Clone, which Naruto already knew; the Taju Kage Bunshin (Mass Shadow Clone); more notes on Space-Time jutsu – even some notes on the Hiraishin. What he couldn’t find was anything about the Wood Style.

    ‘That’s what I wanted the most!’ Naruto thought, hopefully without a pout on his face. “Damn it!” Naruto whispered, but he knew that he had been extremely successful anyway, and shouldn’t get greedy.

    Naruto dispelled his clones, made sure that the scrolls were sealed safely and that the anti-Byakugan seals were on and hadn't lost their potency, then activated the Transparent Escape and left after spraying a little more scent-killing solution on himself.

    When he reached a safe house guarded by a small part of Katsuyu, he had said part contact another piece of Katsuyu, with the message prompting Tsunade to use the Reverse Summoning Jutsu to take Naruto to a safe house over thirty kilometers outside of Konoha. They had tested the range in which his Wood Clones would stay whole, and had concluded that he could maintain a Wood Clone nearly from the other side of Hi no Kuni (Land of Fire / Fire Country).

    -----

    Incredible,” Tsunade commented, a small smile on her face, “you found my family’s most secret scrolls after only hours of searching! I’ve looked for the rest of the Hiraishin’s notes and Grandmother’s Fuuinjutsu for decades! Grandmother never showed me that part of the Library! Now we just have to read the Scroll of Seals and we’re set!”

    Naruto preened under his teacher’s praise; she seldom praised him so strongly. “I did have a kinda unfair advantage ‘ttebayo,” he admitted, referring to his Mokuton.

    “There’s no such thing as an unfair advantage in the ninja world,” Tsunade said, baring her teeth, “just take the compliment and shut up, Naruto!”

    “Eep!” Naruto said, letting out a squeak that was worthy of that weirdo in his class – the Hyuuga, Hinata or something, that is.

    “Today, we’re going to train your sensor skill,” Tsunade said, “I am not a sensor-type, but my father was, Granny Mito too, so I know some things about it; these scrolls will definitely help. Here, read this,” showing him a scroll which went into detail on how to saturate the air and earth with one’s Yin-Yang Style energy by putting one’s finger on the ground, more detail than Tsunade had gotten into when she had taught him how to do that.

    Tsunade had made sure that Naruto’s senses and situational awareness were as good as possible, including his Chakra sense, but there was a lot of room for improvement.

    -----

    Naruto still hadn’t gotten any word back from the Hokage, only Jiraiya, who was around at the moment.

    Jiraiya said, “Naruto, please keep everything you heard in the Hokage’s office secret. Even your heritage – well, at least for now.”

    The whole Maifa incident passed through Naruto’s mind, and the boy could feel his hatred for the village he lived in grow. ‘They are gonna cover it up…?’ He thought, clenching his fists.

    “Just for now,” Jiraiya said, as if he read Naruto’s mind, “we’ll figure it out, kid,” ruffling Naruto’s hair.

    Naruto tried to slap Jiraiya’s hand away without success.

    -----

    Naruto woke up next to Biwako, who was shivering in her sleep.

    ‘It’s definitely not because of the weather – another nightmare?’ He thought; it was currently May, after all. He hugged her tightly, and Biwako gradually stopped shivering. She now had a somewhat content look on her face.

    When both of them woke up -again, in his case- Biwako proposed a spar, since they hadn’t done that in a while.

    -----

    Biwako smirked at Naruto while they were going through warm-up exercises. She had finally managed to get Hell Stab down without messing up her fingers, mainly because in the Gunbai’s world, physical damage didn’t translate into reality, though mental fatigue was still a worry; similarly to a certain clone jutsu Tsunade had almost completely barred her from using. The power of her Hell Stab was still relatively low without the Raiton Chakra Mode, on the other hand, and she was probably missing more things about the jutsu than that, too.

    She had also improved her Hell Current to a point it was usable in a spar, and gotten down the Katon: Gouryuuka no jutsu (Fire Style: Great Dragon Fire), which was B-ranked, after nearly two months of effort, but wouldn’t use it in the spar.

    Biwako activated her Sharingan, preparing. Naruto started things off by substituting himself with a Wood Clone, but Biwako’s eyes didn’t miss it, so she used a Doton (Earth Style) jutsu to force him to come out.

    Naruto got closer to her while his clone made a single hand seal, releasing the Wild Water Wave. Biwako made a Tiger seal, then a Snake seal; she had finally figured out how to use two ninjutsu at the same time, like the Sandaime. It was all about being able to use something so easily as to be almost subconscious, so that she could focus on another thing.

    While her relatively weak Great Fireball (due to a lack of hand-seals and focus) was combating clone Naruto’s water jutsu, a small clump of mud hit original Naruto’s eyes; that was the best she could do with the Earth element when using only a single hand-seal.

    The Water ninjutsu stopped before it could completely overwhelm the fireball because Biwako used Shunshin (Body Flicker) to capture the original Naruto and put him between her and the water as a human shield. Naruto managed to free himself thanks to both of them being slippery with water and a bit of sweat, but not without his distraction allowing her to use a Lightning Style: Thunderbolt, hitting the Wood Clone in the chest.

    As the clone collapsed into splinters, Biwako and the original Naruto engaged in taijutsu. Naruto was much better at it than he used to, seemingly overwhelming Biwako, but it was a trap because she had been learning something new from Shisui. She drew a tanto and coursed Lightning Style Chakra through it, scoring a glancing hit due to a dodge from Naruto, but it still paralyzed him.

    Then, she went to put her kunai over Naruto’s throat, but Naruto managed to put his hands together in a Bird seal and get her with a Fuuton: Shou (Wind Style: Thrust), which pushed her away a bit. She was caught off guard by that, and Wind Style Chakra apparently removed the electricity from one’s system, so Naruto managed to put his kunai over her throat at the same time she recovered her wits and did the same over his heart.

    “A tie…?” Biwako whispered in disbelief, copious amounts of sweat running down her body and her breath having turned much heavier.

    She hadn’t even gotten the chance to use her Hell Current or Hell Stab!

    “Apparently,” Naruto said, also panting and sweating hard.

    A feral smile was on his face, and Biwako was startled to hear laughter… and even more startled when she realized it came from her. That was a fight out of one of Naruto’s manga – which Biwako wouldn’t admit she had read!

    Naruto laughed too, and said, “what do you call it – a dance? Well, that was a great dance, Biwako!”

    “Indeed,” Biwako admitted, "the dance of death," she murmured, referencing what she had read somewhere – possibly in Madara's books.

    They barely got to spar one another nowadays; their teachers had put them through the wringer, and they also had other hobbies, like Naruto growing his plants and trees, Biwako taking after-dark strolls and both of them reading manga and books. Well, she also had that, but it was too embarrassing to tell even Naruto!

    -----

    *Imagine Boruto’s eye color which, according to Sarada, is a purer blue than Naruto.

    *2 Tsunade in this story has about four times as much Chakra as she did in canon, which is about on par with prime Tobirama, prime Sarutobi and twenty-four-year-old Minato. The hypothetical prime Minato would be a bit stronger than all three of them, though.

    *3 Seventeen-year-old Karin had a range of ~10 kilometers in canon, maybe more. Adult Karin likely has a way greater range. Also, note the NORMAL sensor part. No Senjutsu and such.

    *4 It’s a canon jutsu of Sasuke’s. Look up Kuchiyose: Raiko Kenka / Summoning: Lightning Flash Blade Creation

    5* I don’t remember where I’ve seen the idea that Hashirama made the Forest of Death in his grief after he ‘killed’ Madara, but disclaimer: it’s not my own idea.
     
    moon so bright and Vanbers like this.
Loading...